When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
A59 safety call as tributes pour in after Darwen dad's motorcycle death
TRIBUTES have been paid to a father-of-two killed at an accident blackspot.
Darwen man Ronald Birch, known as Ronnie to his friends and family, died on the A59 when his motorbike collided with a lorry near Sawley.
Today a council leader called for a probe into making the road safer.
An air ambulance was called to help the 39-year-old, but he died at the scene, police said.
The accident happened opposite the Dunbia abattoir. Both vehicles had been travelling towards Gisburn when the crash happened.
Numerous calls have been made for increased safety measures on the stretch of road, between Sawley and Gisburn, because of the high number of serious accidents there.
Yesterday tributes were posted to the latest victim on the Lancashire Telegraph website and Facebook .
One said: “Ronnie, you were a good man and didn't deserve this. I only knew you for a short while but you made a big impact on my life. Hoped we could be together for a lot longer. Life is too short. Rest in Peace my love xxx”
Tributes have also been paid on a dedicated memorial website created by friend Ben Cradock.
A tribute left by Mr Birch’s sister Nicki said: “I miss you so, so much, please just come back, no one can ever replace such a great guy. Best dad, son, brother, uncle and friend. You will always, always be missed honey, sleep well and don’t be annoying the angels xxxxxxxxx love you xxxxxxx.”
Mr Birch, said to be separated from his wife Deborah, also leaves children Jordan Kemp and Chelsie Birch, brother Alan and mum Jean.
He attended Heysham High School before moving to East Lancashire.
Mr Birch was listed as a director of home care company Domiciliary Care Services (UK) Ltd, based in Clitheroe, and is also thought that Mr Birch used to run the Jimmy Clitheroe cafe in Clitheroe.
Sawley councillor and Ribble Valley Council leader Michael Ranson said: “It’s absolutely terrible to hear of another fatality in that area.
“The road near the abattoir is a dangerous area. It is a single carriageway that widens out and there’s a 60 mile an hour limit.
“Due to the nature of the situation, I think the county council and the police should look at a redesign or other measure to make it safer.”
In the past decade there have been more than 20 accidents on that stretch of the A59.
In August 2008, a 17-year-old boy died between Sawley Road and Mill Lane, near to the then County Foods factory, when his van collided with an on-coming burgundy-coloured Land Rover Discovery.
In May 2008, a 67-year-old cyclist died after he collided with a black Ford Focus.
In September 2007, a 60-year-old woman was killed when her Mazda car collided with a Peugeot 106.
And in March 2005, a 76-year-old retired GP died when he pulled out of Sabden Road onto the A59.
County Councillor Albert Atkinson said: “We have just resurfaced the road and done all sorts.
“However, I do feel very sorry when I hear that another person has been killed, and if we can do some more engineering works, we will.
“I would like to see a speed camera put up around there, but we’re not allowed because of some stupid half European, half our law about it not being lit.
“If you follow the same road into Yorkshire, near Ripon, they have signs up saying that so many people have died along the road, and I think we need something like that. I will be speaking to the highways department to see if we can have one.”
Sergeant Sean Cunningham said: “An investigation is under way and I would appeal to anybody that witnessed this collision, which happened at around 3pm on Friday, and didn’t stop at the scene to come forward and contact police.”
Contact Lancashire Police on 101.
Comments are closed on this article.