A59 safety call as tributes pour in after Darwen dad's motorcycle death

Blackburn Citizen: TRAGEDY Ronnie Birch TRAGEDY Ronnie Birch

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 (21)

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10:48am Mon 24 Sep 12

Donnaor says...

My husband has just bought me a copy of the telegraph as I knew Ronnie. I would just like to say how impersonal I feel ur piece is. It has made the front page news yet the editor has only taken tributes and information from Facebook and other Internet sources. I think comments such as 'listed as director of home care company dsc' and 'thought that Mr Birch used to run the Jimmy Clitheroe cafe in Clitheroe' were thoughtless. If information must be sourced from Facebook then why not ask one of his friends!
My husband has just bought me a copy of the telegraph as I knew Ronnie. I would just like to say how impersonal I feel ur piece is. It has made the front page news yet the editor has only taken tributes and information from Facebook and other Internet sources. I think comments such as 'listed as director of home care company dsc' and 'thought that Mr Birch used to run the Jimmy Clitheroe cafe in Clitheroe' were thoughtless. If information must be sourced from Facebook then why not ask one of his friends! Donnaor

11:12am Mon 24 Sep 12

eastlancslad says...

It's sad enough to hear of an untimely death, and my commiserations go out to Mr. Birch's family.
However, without knowing the facts about how the accident happened, I think it's a bit too soon to blame it 'on the road'.
I travel this section of the A59 day in and day out, at all times of day, and in all weather conditions, and I know the road is safe. It's the drivers/riders who cause the accidents, not the layout of the tarmac. To make a list of several accidents which happen at very different places along this road is just pathetic, and rubbish reporting.
Careless drivers/bad drivers/etc are a fact of life. Treat every other driver on the road as a potential risk, and keep your eyes open. Fancy chicanes, red tarmac, hatched sections, speed traps etc will not stop the bad drivers. Watch out for them, and take the required actions.
Or, given the amount of grass at the side of the road at this point, make it a dual carridgeway!
It's sad enough to hear of an untimely death, and my commiserations go out to Mr. Birch's family. However, without knowing the facts about how the accident happened, I think it's a bit too soon to blame it 'on the road'. I travel this section of the A59 day in and day out, at all times of day, and in all weather conditions, and I know the road is safe. It's the drivers/riders who cause the accidents, not the layout of the tarmac. To make a list of several accidents which happen at very different places along this road is just pathetic, and rubbish reporting. Careless drivers/bad drivers/etc are a fact of life. Treat every other driver on the road as a potential risk, and keep your eyes open. Fancy chicanes, red tarmac, hatched sections, speed traps etc will not stop the bad drivers. Watch out for them, and take the required actions. Or, given the amount of grass at the side of the road at this point, make it a dual carridgeway! eastlancslad

11:52am Mon 24 Sep 12

bril67 says...

very sad loss ,but how is he a Darwen man
very sad loss ,but how is he a Darwen man bril67

11:54am Mon 24 Sep 12

bril67 says...

very good and valid points by eastlancslad and donnaor
very good and valid points by eastlancslad and donnaor bril67

2:26pm Mon 24 Sep 12

brossen99 says...

According to the local grape vine the motorcylist passed a long line of cars following the said HGV which was hit when it turned right into the abbatoir. Obviously the guy's view of the HGV indicator may have been obscured by the cars when he first started overtaking the queue of cars, but as a relative local he should have known about the risk especially if it was a cattle wagon. Perhaps a hazzard sign indicating " lorries turning right " placed at an appropriate point could reduce the chance of this accident happening in future. The real killer is the 40 Mph goods vehicle speed limit on A roads, there is no technical reason why HGV's can't go as fast as everyone else these days, especially on wide roads like the A59 at that point.
According to the local grape vine the motorcylist passed a long line of cars following the said HGV which was hit when it turned right into the abbatoir. Obviously the guy's view of the HGV indicator may have been obscured by the cars when he first started overtaking the queue of cars, but as a relative local he should have known about the risk especially if it was a cattle wagon. Perhaps a hazzard sign indicating " lorries turning right " placed at an appropriate point could reduce the chance of this accident happening in future. The real killer is the 40 Mph goods vehicle speed limit on A roads, there is no technical reason why HGV's can't go as fast as everyone else these days, especially on wide roads like the A59 at that point. brossen99

8:29pm Mon 24 Sep 12

Mitchell98 says...

eastlancslad wrote:
It's sad enough to hear of an untimely death, and my commiserations go out to Mr. Birch's family.
However, without knowing the facts about how the accident happened, I think it's a bit too soon to blame it 'on the road'.
I travel this section of the A59 day in and day out, at all times of day, and in all weather conditions, and I know the road is safe. It's the drivers/riders who cause the accidents, not the layout of the tarmac. To make a list of several accidents which happen at very different places along this road is just pathetic, and rubbish reporting.
Careless drivers/bad drivers/etc are a fact of life. Treat every other driver on the road as a potential risk, and keep your eyes open. Fancy chicanes, red tarmac, hatched sections, speed traps etc will not stop the bad drivers. Watch out for them, and take the required actions.
Or, given the amount of grass at the side of the road at this point, make it a dual carridgeway!
I am Ronnie Birch's nephew. I know for a fact he was a very good driver, he NEVER, EVER sped on ANY road given any circumstances. For you to say that it may have been his fault is absolutely disgusting and sickening.

To my Uncle Ronnie;

Love you lots! Missing you day in day out.. please just come back and be here, please :'( xxxxxxx

-Mitch
[quote][p][bold]eastlancslad[/bold] wrote: It's sad enough to hear of an untimely death, and my commiserations go out to Mr. Birch's family. However, without knowing the facts about how the accident happened, I think it's a bit too soon to blame it 'on the road'. I travel this section of the A59 day in and day out, at all times of day, and in all weather conditions, and I know the road is safe. It's the drivers/riders who cause the accidents, not the layout of the tarmac. To make a list of several accidents which happen at very different places along this road is just pathetic, and rubbish reporting. Careless drivers/bad drivers/etc are a fact of life. Treat every other driver on the road as a potential risk, and keep your eyes open. Fancy chicanes, red tarmac, hatched sections, speed traps etc will not stop the bad drivers. Watch out for them, and take the required actions. Or, given the amount of grass at the side of the road at this point, make it a dual carridgeway![/p][/quote]I am Ronnie Birch's nephew. I know for a fact he was a very good driver, he NEVER, EVER sped on ANY road given any circumstances. For you to say that it may have been his fault is absolutely disgusting and sickening. To my Uncle Ronnie; Love you lots! Missing you day in day out.. please just come back and be here, please :'( xxxxxxx -Mitch Mitchell98

11:26pm Mon 24 Sep 12

cotterill says...

Whoever got this information regarding my husband obviously needs to sort there back ground out. My daughter Brooke Jade Ellen Birch aged 11. Has been his daughter since she was 6 months old and do you know what she can read. How the hell do i tell her the truth that basically no blood relative so does not get a mention. Heartless bunch of people.
Whoever got this information regarding my husband obviously needs to sort there back ground out. My daughter Brooke Jade Ellen Birch aged 11. Has been his daughter since she was 6 months old and do you know what she can read. How the hell do i tell her the truth that basically no blood relative so does not get a mention. Heartless bunch of people. cotterill

7:49am Tue 25 Sep 12

eastlancslad says...

Mitch, please read my post again. Nowhere do I say your uncle was at fault - it might have been the truck driver.
I did say that we would need to know the facts before anybody can be blamed.
I also understand that you will be upset amd may feel the need to lash out at something or someone. I too have lost a parent under less than normal circumstances.
If I have offended you, then I apologise.
Mitch, please read my post again. Nowhere do I say your uncle was at fault - it might have been the truck driver. I did say that we would need to know the facts before anybody can be blamed. I also understand that you will be upset amd may feel the need to lash out at something or someone. I too have lost a parent under less than normal circumstances. If I have offended you, then I apologise. eastlancslad

11:28am Tue 25 Sep 12

jean1947 says...

goodnight godbless our very very precios son ronnie i cant put into words how much we are going to miss you our son say hello to nanna n grandad love you so so much mum dad xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxx
goodnight godbless our very very precios son ronnie i cant put into words how much we are going to miss you our son say hello to nanna n grandad love you so so much mum dad xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxx jean1947

11:33am Tue 25 Sep 12

jean1947 says...

i want to mention also he has a stepdaughter called brooke and a father called alan which was never mentioned in the write up in the telgraph could you please amend asap ronnies mum
i want to mention also he has a stepdaughter called brooke and a father called alan which was never mentioned in the write up in the telgraph could you please amend asap ronnies mum jean1947

4:01pm Tue 25 Sep 12

Mitchell98 says...

I agree with Jean1947 (who is my Nana)

He had a stepdaughter called Brook, a Dad called Alan Birch (my Grandad), not ALL of the immediate family are included, which I think is not acceptable. Ammend this ASAP.

-mitch
I agree with Jean1947 (who is my Nana) He had a stepdaughter called Brook, a Dad called Alan Birch (my Grandad), not ALL of the immediate family are included, which I think is not acceptable. Ammend this ASAP. -mitch Mitchell98

5:36pm Tue 25 Sep 12

Donnaor says...

I had to check with my mum about his dad. Thought he's had passed away and I hadn't been told. As I said in my post at the top I think it was a heartless way of obtaining info. My love goes to u all (my brother was good mates with Ronnie in their teens) x
I had to check with my mum about his dad. Thought he's had passed away and I hadn't been told. As I said in my post at the top I think it was a heartless way of obtaining info. My love goes to u all (my brother was good mates with Ronnie in their teens) x Donnaor

7:56pm Tue 25 Sep 12

171096 says...

eastlancslad wrote:
Mitch, please read my post again. Nowhere do I say your uncle was at fault - it might have been the truck driver.
I did say that we would need to know the facts before anybody can be blamed.
I also understand that you will be upset amd may feel the need to lash out at something or someone. I too have lost a parent under less than normal circumstances.
If I have offended you, then I apologise.
Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Would the reporter of this article plz read the beginning of this comment and take a long hard look at how you do your job and go about obtaining your info of family members on who you report on.
This has been a very upsetting time for my family,the last thing we need is for some two bit reporter looking for a story,

Also would anybody else commenting on this tragedy plz leave only comments of condolence as a remark of respect. R.I.P. BROTHER
[quote][p][bold]eastlancslad[/bold] wrote: Mitch, please read my post again. Nowhere do I say your uncle was at fault - it might have been the truck driver. I did say that we would need to know the facts before anybody can be blamed. I also understand that you will be upset amd may feel the need to lash out at something or someone. I too have lost a parent under less than normal circumstances. If I have offended you, then I apologise.[/p][/quote]Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link. Would the reporter of this article plz read the beginning of this comment and take a long hard look at how you do your job and go about obtaining your info of family members on who you report on. This has been a very upsetting time for my family,the last thing we need is for some two bit reporter looking for a story, Also would anybody else commenting on this tragedy plz leave only comments of condolence as a remark of respect. R.I.P. BROTHER 171096

8:00pm Tue 25 Sep 12

171096 says...

171096 wrote:
eastlancslad wrote:
Mitch, please read my post again. Nowhere do I say your uncle was at fault - it might have been the truck driver.
I did say that we would need to know the facts before anybody can be blamed.
I also understand that you will be upset amd may feel the need to lash out at something or someone. I too have lost a parent under less than normal circumstances.
If I have offended you, then I apologise.
Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Would the reporter of this article plz read the beginning of this comment and take a long hard look at how you do your job and go about obtaining your info of family members on who you report on.
This has been a very upsetting time for my family,the last thing we need is for some two bit reporter looking for a story,

Also would anybody else commenting on this tragedy plz leave only comments of condolence as a remark of respect. R.I.P. BROTHER
my last post was ment for the reporter of the article not you eastlancslad.
[quote][p][bold]171096[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eastlancslad[/bold] wrote: Mitch, please read my post again. Nowhere do I say your uncle was at fault - it might have been the truck driver. I did say that we would need to know the facts before anybody can be blamed. I also understand that you will be upset amd may feel the need to lash out at something or someone. I too have lost a parent under less than normal circumstances. If I have offended you, then I apologise.[/p][/quote]Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link. Would the reporter of this article plz read the beginning of this comment and take a long hard look at how you do your job and go about obtaining your info of family members on who you report on. This has been a very upsetting time for my family,the last thing we need is for some two bit reporter looking for a story, Also would anybody else commenting on this tragedy plz leave only comments of condolence as a remark of respect. R.I.P. BROTHER[/p][/quote]my last post was ment for the reporter of the article not you eastlancslad. 171096

6:26pm Wed 26 Sep 12

karltop says...

I know how to make this road safer, - ban these bikes.
I know how to make this road safer, - ban these bikes. karltop

8:13pm Wed 26 Sep 12

Mitchell98 says...

karltop wrote:
I know how to make this road safer, - ban these bikes.
You horrible, horrible person.

How does banning motorcyclists make a road safer? That's disgusting to hear.

To be honest, you're an arrogant person.

It was NOT his fault he died, OK? You've just made a horrible comment and that's probably offended a lot of people in our family..

If you've nothing nice to say, no condolenses, DON'T COMMENT AT ALL.

LEAVE ***NICE*** COMMENTS ONLY, OR NONE AT ALL!
[quote][p][bold]karltop[/bold] wrote: I know how to make this road safer, - ban these bikes.[/p][/quote]You horrible, horrible person. How does banning motorcyclists make a road safer? That's disgusting to hear. To be honest, you're an arrogant person. It was NOT his fault he died, OK? You've just made a horrible comment and that's probably offended a lot of people in our family.. If you've nothing nice to say, no condolenses, DON'T COMMENT AT ALL. LEAVE ***NICE*** COMMENTS ONLY, OR NONE AT ALL! Mitchell98

10:31pm Wed 26 Sep 12

karltop says...

There was nothing horrible or arrogant about it, it was simply the truth.

Most people are incapable of using these machines safely, and that's a fact.
There was nothing horrible or arrogant about it, it was simply the truth. Most people are incapable of using these machines safely, and that's a fact. karltop

3:47pm Thu 27 Sep 12

Mitchell98 says...

karltop wrote:
There was nothing horrible or arrogant about it, it was simply the truth.

Most people are incapable of using these machines safely, and that's a fact.
I am pretty sure they have to past a safety test in order to drive them, otherwise, you would be correct.
[quote][p][bold]karltop[/bold] wrote: There was nothing horrible or arrogant about it, it was simply the truth. Most people are incapable of using these machines safely, and that's a fact.[/p][/quote]I am pretty sure they have to past a safety test in order to drive them, otherwise, you would be correct. Mitchell98

5:33pm Sat 29 Sep 12

171096 says...

karltop wrote:
There was nothing horrible or arrogant about it, it was simply the truth.

Most people are incapable of using these machines safely, and that's a fact.
YOU OBVIOUSLY CAN'T READ,.I RIDERS BROTHER ASKED FOR PEOPLE TO LEAVE ONLY COMMENTS OF CONDOLENCE AS A MARK OF RESPECT TO MY BROTHER,NOT TO CAUSE MORE UPSET. MY BROTHER AS HAD MOTORBIKES ALL HIS LIFE. THIS JUST A TRAGIC ACCIDENT...PEOPLE LIKE YOU MAKE ME SICK...
[quote][p][bold]karltop[/bold] wrote: There was nothing horrible or arrogant about it, it was simply the truth. Most people are incapable of using these machines safely, and that's a fact.[/p][/quote]YOU OBVIOUSLY CAN'T READ,.I RIDERS BROTHER ASKED FOR PEOPLE TO LEAVE ONLY COMMENTS OF CONDOLENCE AS A MARK OF RESPECT TO MY BROTHER,NOT TO CAUSE MORE UPSET. MY BROTHER AS HAD MOTORBIKES ALL HIS LIFE. THIS JUST A TRAGIC ACCIDENT...PEOPLE LIKE YOU MAKE ME SICK... 171096

8:10am Tue 2 Oct 12

BeverlyN says...

I was travelling along the road at the time and partly saw the accident, the motorbike over took our car while we were travelling in a line of traffic at slow speed. The motorbike was travelling very safely the manoeuvre was on his own side of the road. He was not speeding or acting dangerously, it was a tragic accident. My sincere condolences go to his family and anyone who knew him. RIP
I was travelling along the road at the time and partly saw the accident, the motorbike over took our car while we were travelling in a line of traffic at slow speed. The motorbike was travelling very safely the manoeuvre was on his own side of the road. He was not speeding or acting dangerously, it was a tragic accident. My sincere condolences go to his family and anyone who knew him. RIP BeverlyN

8:28am Tue 2 Oct 12

jean1947 says...

thank you so so much we the family really needed to here a comment like that thankyou again so so much ronnies mum
thank you so so much we the family really needed to here a comment like that thankyou again so so much ronnies mum jean1947

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