UPDATE: Tributes paid to ‘loving, caring’ West Suffolk College student and Onehouse resident John Walsh
Tributes have been paid to 18-year-old West Suffolk College student John Walsh who died after a car crash on the A14 in Rougham.
Mr Walsh, of Ash Road, Onehouse, died in Addenbrooke’s Hospital yesterday, Wednesday May 27, after sustaining head injuries in the single vehicle crash at around 12.35pm on Tuesday May 26.
Police were called to reports that a Vauxhall Corsa had rolled into a field.
Officers arrived and found a young woman out of the vehicle and an 18-year-old man trapped in the driver’s seat. He was freed by the fire service and taken to Addenbrooke’s. The young woman sustained minor cuts and bruises.
In a statement, the Walsh family said: “We as a family are absolutely devastated by the loss of our beloved John, who passed away following a tragic accident on the A14 at Rougham on Tuesday.
“Despite strenuous efforts by all the emergency services at the scene, he had unfortunately sustained extensive injuries which proved fatal. He was travelling in his car with his girlfriend, who thankfully only sustained minor injuries.
“Knowing the kind of loving, caring person John was, we decided to donate his organs for transplant, as we know this would have been his wish. The family would like to express its thanks to the staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, for their loving care of John.
“John was well known in the local community through his association with Stowmarket Rugby and Judo clubs. He was a very popular student at West Suffolk College.
“He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.”
Martin Barnard, Chairman of Stowmarket Rugby Club said: “I did coach him for a couple of years. He was a well known face around the club. “He was a young lad full of life, tragically cut short. “On behalf of everybody at the rugby club this is very sad news.”
Paul Flanagan, speaking on behalf of Stowmarket Judo Club, said: “I had the pleasure of coaching John for about three years, he had a great attitude and was a very popular member of the group having been with the club for many years, culminating in him earning his brown belt and gaining a gold medal in a regional tournament.
“He was not only a gifted athlete but a lively and polite guy with a great thirst for life which was evidenced by the many activities he got involved in.
“The general shock and emotional outpouring displayed at the news of his passing are evidence of what a truly good lad he was.
“He will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure to have known him.”
John was studying a public services course at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds.
Martyn Wagner, deputy principle, said: “Our thoughts are with John’s family and we will be doing everything we can to support the students in his group when they come back after half term.
“Our student welfare team will be working with the tutors and supporting the group.”
Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the incident and are asking anyone who saw what happened to contact PC Karl Hale at the Serious Collision Investigation Team at Suffolk Police on 101, quoting CAD 168 of yesterday, Tuesday 26 May.