Steven like a brother to me - tributes to crash victim

A COMMUNITY is in shock after the death of a friendly and well-liked Bungay man in a three-vehicle crash.

Steven Ray, 43, from Garden Close, died when the car he was travelling in was in an accident with a single-decker bus and a parked minibus on the B1127 at Hulver on Friday evening.

Patricia Harcourt, 65, from Great Yarmouth, believed to be Mr Ray’s mother, who was in the same vehicle, also died.

The driver of the silver Hyundai Accent car, a man in his sixties who is believed to be Mrs Harcourt’s husband Ron, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with chest injuries. He is in a serious but stable condition.

People who knew Mr Ray this week said they were shocked and devastated by the news.

Mike Atterwill said he and his brother Andrew had known Mr Ray since childhood.

“This has come as a terrible shock for the whole estate. We grew up together as boys and Steven was well-liked about the estate. Everyone is devastated.”

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Andrew added: “Steven was like another brother to me. I have grown up with Steven from childhood right up to last Friday when Steve and I visited Norwich to do some shopping so it was tragic to hear that he passed away.”

Mr Ray had spent the last 13 years at Onward Enterprises in Harleston, a work placement for people with learning difficulties and other disabilities.

According to his Facebook page he was engaged.

Onward Enterprises director Peter Sindall said: “He was a very nice person who got on well here. He had lots of friends and we will miss him.”

Andrew Legget-Bond, who runs the Chocolate Box in Bungay with his wife Angela, said: “We knew him as a customer. He was a nice chap who always had time to stop and chat. It is such a tragic situation.”

Caroline Aldous, officer in charge of the St John Ambulance in Bungay, said Mr Ray was a keen cadet in his teenage years.

“He was a very nice lad who would do anything for anyone. Every time he saw you he would say hello. It is such a pity he has been taken so suddenly. He had lots of friends and was a familiar face around the town,” she added.

Mrs Aldous said Mr Ray was a keen photographer who took very good pictures.

Earlier this week Mrs Harcourt’s next door neighbour Robert Smith, 61, who lives with his partner Patricia Fahey, 63, described the couple as very chatty and friendly.

Ms Fahey said Mrs Harcourt worked at an amusement arcade on Yarmouth seafront, while her husband loved animals and used to rear horses although he also owned other pets, including goats and guinea pigs.

She said the couple would often go away at weekends to country and western gigs.

Another neighbour Frances Ash, 67, said Mr Harcourt used to drive the horse-drawn landaus on Yarmouth seafront and was well known to traders in Yarmouth Market Place.

Any witnesses to the 7pm crash are asked to call PC Allie Cotton at the Suffolk Police Serious Collision Investigation Team on 01473 613500.