‘Beautiful inside and out’ - family’s moving tribute to teenage victim of Boxing Day crash

Jake Paxton. Picture COURTESY OF SUFFOLK POLICE

Jake Paxton. Picture COURTESY OF SUFFOLK POLICE - Credit: Archant

The family of a teenager who tragically died in a devastating crash on Boxing Day have paid a moving tribute to him as someone “loved so very very much by all his family and those close to him”.

The area of the A14 eastbound at Rougham in Suffolk where a fatal collision took place on Boxing Day

The area of the A14 eastbound at Rougham in Suffolk where a fatal collision took place on Boxing Day 2017. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Jake Paxton was one of two 18-year-olds killed in the crash involving a black Vauxhall Corsa and a grey Ford Fiesta at 9.30pm on the A14 eastbound at Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, just east of junction 45.

Both Jake and William Smedley, both from Bury St Edmunds, were passengers in the Fiesta.

William died at the scene of the crash, whereas Jake was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but subsequently died of his injuries.

A statement released on behalf of the family by Suffolk Police said: “We as a family are devastated that Jake has been tragically taken from us.

“Jake was beautiful inside and out. He was loved so very very much by all his family and those close to him.”

After the crash a memorial was held in the Arc shopping centre car park, in Bury St Edmunds, where both victims used to meet and socialise.


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Flowers were laid and balloons released into the air in tribute.

Ebony Wilderspin, who organised the memorial, which was attended by William’s mother, said: “Will and Jake were both loved by everyone and last night was amazing for everyone to come out to pay their respects to both the boys.

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“Many people were upset, however I’m grateful for the turnout and the lovely amount of flowers and cards that have been put around and on the lamppost. I’d like to wish the family well and hope that the memorial was a good enough send off for the two boys who were taken away from us so early.”

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help with William’s funeral costs.

William’s family also paid tribute to him after the accident, describing him as a “caring son, loving grandson, doting big brother, a loyal, kind, generous beautiful young man gone but never ever forgotten”.

Anyone with any information about the crash should call the Suffolk Police serious collision investigation team on 101, quoting CAD number 332 of December 26.

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