The family of a man who died following a road traffic collision in Rickinghall have paid tribute to him saying he was “a positive, gentle and kind man.”
Police were called shortly after 10.05am on Thursday, April 29, to reports of a collision involving a black Ford Focus and a grey Toyota Corolla at the junction of the A143 and B1113 Finningham Road.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue, an ambulance and air ambulance were also in attendance and despite the efforts by a member of public and paramedics, the driver of the Toyota Corrolla – a man aged in his 80s – was sadly pronounced deceased a short time later at the scene.
Pending formal Coroner’s inquest proceedings, police have provisionally identified the deceased as Leonard Rice, aged 85, from Cotton (pictured above).
Mr Rice’s family have asked us to issue the following tribute on their behalf saying: “Leonard Rice known as Len or Lennie was born in Finningham and grew up in the village. He was a keen sportsman in his earlier days and was a member of the Finningham Cycle Speedway Team.
“Though better known for his many appearances as a key member of the 1950s and 60s successful Finningham Football Club, recently he had provided material for a new Book ‘An Imprecise Account of the History of Sport in Finningham’ written by Peter Everall.
“Len moved to Cotton upon marrying his loving wife Pauline, and went on to have a daughter, Beverley, and son, Neil, who will miss him very much.
“He loved his daily walks around Cotton which would normally take a while due to the amount of friends he would stop and have a cheery conversation with along the way.
“Len worked firstly as a mechanic at both Brockford Garage and Fourways Garage at Mendlesham, then went on to be a panel beater/sprayer for Reg Tydeman Body Repairs.
“Len enjoyed many hobbies including fishing, gardening, and playing darts for both Finningham White Horse and Mendlesham Kings’ Head.
“Len was a positive, gentle and kind man, who always had a smile on his face, with a great sense of humour, much loved by his many friends and family.”
Officers would still like to hear from any witnesses to the collision, including anyone driving in the area prior to the incident who has a dashcam fitted in their vehicle.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, quoting reference: 21775/21.
Email – SCIU@suffolk.pnn.police.uk
Phone – Call 101.