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Tributes to community stalwart after fatal crash
A STALWART of the community in Lydeard St Lawrence has died after he was involved in a car crash near Bicknoller.
Philip Sayers, 88, died after his silver Volvo was in a collision with a blue Suzuki Swift carrying two 23-year-old men from London, on the A358 at the Upcott Lane turning just after 3pm on Friday.
Debbie Telling, who worked on the parish council with Mr Sayers for many years, said: “He was a very lovely man. He would help anyone out. He loved walking his Jack Russells and steam rallies – he used to travel all over the country for them.
“He was very strong, positive and a kind-natured man who enjoyed life.”
Following the collision, fire crews from Minehead, Williton, Lynton and Taunton had to cut away one side of the Suzuki to free the driver and passenger, who were trapped, before they were airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.
Julie O’Kane-Gill from Kent was in the car in front of the Suzuki on the way to a holiday apartment in Minehead with her husband, sister and brother-in-law when the incident happened.
She said: “The Volvo passed us and then we heard a big crash – we looked and saw clouds of smoke, so quickly turned around.
“My husband and brother-in-law helped the old man out of his car because it was smoking and we didn’t know if it was on fire. I called 999 and I was still on the phone when the ambulance arrived – they were very quick.
“The whole of the front of the boys’ car was missing. The impact had pushed them right over the road.”
Susie O’Connor, whose son Sean was in the Suzuki with his friend Calum Heath on their way to Butlin’s, said Sean had undergone an operation on his back on Tuesday and remains in Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.
Jim Bond had known Mr Sayers for 24 years as they shared involvement in the Lydeard St Lawrence bell ringing group.
He said: “Philip was such an active member of the community. There is anawkward set of steps in the church towerand he put in a handrail all the way up but never said anything about it, he just did it. It’s been incredibly useful ever since.
“That is the type of character he was, he just got on with things and never wanted any thanks.
“He was a very good man and popular in the village. We will be ringing a quarter peal for him next week.”
Philip is survived by his son, Jonathan, daughter Jane and two sisters.
Police are appealing for witnesses to contact the collision investigation unit on 101.