Tributes paid to Great Yarmouth woman and son after car crash

MOVING tributes have been paid to a Great Yarmouth woman and a man, believed to be her son, who died in a car crash in Suffolk.

Patricia Harcourt, 65, of Beatty Close, was the back-seat passenger, while Steven Ray, 43, from Beccles, was in the front passenger seat of a Hyundai Accent involved in a collision with a single-decker Anglian bus and parked silver Renault Trafic minibus on the B1127 at Hulver, near Beccles, last Friday.

Both died at the scene, while the driver, a man in his 60s, who is believed to Mrs Harcourt’s husband Ron, was taken to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with chest injuries, where he is in a serious but stable condition.

Mrs Harcourt’s neighbours in Beatty Close described the couple as “pleasant and chatty” and said she had a passion for country and western music.

Robert Smith, 61, who lives with his partner Patricia Fahey, 63, said: “They were very chatty. If I went out into the front garden to put some spring bulbs in she would be out there chatting, saying ‘this evening is nice’.”

He added: “I would not say they kept themselves to themselves because they did not. As soon as you went outside they would always come out and have a chat with you. They were very 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.

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

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

She saw the couple hours before the accident as they were loading their car up with luggage and boxes at 9.40am on Friday, adding they told her they were “going away to visit someone” and seemed in good spirits.

Clifford Hatt, 82, who lives next door with wife Barbara, 82, said the couple had moved from nearby Tennyson Road three months ago due to Ron’s ill-health.

People who knew Mr Ray, who had learning difficulties, said they were shocked and devastated by the news.

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

Mike Atterwill said: “This has come as a terrible shock. We grew up together as boys and Steven was well liked about the estate. Everyone is devastated.”

Andrew Atterwill said: “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 St John Ambulance in Bungay, said Mr Ray was a keen cadet in his teenage years.

She said: “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.”

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

l Witnesses are asked to call PC Allie Cotton at Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.