Rider dies after being hit by tree
A MOTORCYCLIST from Little Sampford was killed in a freak accident when he his was hit by a falling tree on Thursday. Paul Delahay, 41, of Hawkins Hill was riding his yellow Ducati towards Rayne on the B1256 Blake End Road close to Great Saling shortly be
A MOTORCYCLIST from Little Sampford was killed in a freak accident when he his was hit by a falling tree on Thursday.
Paul Delahay, 41, of Hawkins Hill was riding his yellow Ducati towards Rayne on the B1256 Blake End Road close to Great Saling shortly before 6pm.
Shaun Hutchinson, emergency care practitioner, said: "The tree seems to have split and fallen just as the motorcycle was going past. It caused serious head injuries to the rider.
"The fire brigade happened to be about 200 yards away, following a call out in Stock End Green, Rayne, and started resuscitation work until our arrival.
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"We worked on him while taking him to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford where all efforts were made to save his life."
He did not regain consciousness and was declared dead.
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The road was closed for about five hours.
Mr Delahay lived with his 27-year-old partner, Gemma Laidler, and their nine-year-old daughter, Alicia. He had lived in Little Sampford for six years, having moved from Thaxted.
Paying tribute to her partner, Ms Laidler said: "He was the centre of attention and always wanted to make people laugh.
"He loved watching Moto GP on television and listening to rock artists such as Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, The Jam and Paul Weller."
Mr Delahay had worked for 15 years as head of security for the European Bank in the city.
Previously he had served in the Army in the Duke of Wellington Regiment where he learned how to box.
In a joint statement, Paul's parents Gordon, 74, and Elaine, 70, said: "We are proud of his professional achievements, starting out as a security guard and greeter and ending up as head of security."
Paul's main hobbies and interests were motorcycling and cars. He attended superbike track days around the country.
He was in an advanced group of riders and was in the process of applying for a racing licence with the thought of competing next year.
He also liked fishing and shooting.
Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone who travelled along the Blake End Road at the time of the accident to contact PC Kevin Langford at Bocking Road Police Unit on 01376 330722.