Motorcylist pillion dies in tragic crash

PUBLISHED: 14:27 17 April 2014 | UPDATED: 14:27 17 April 2014

Steve Sanders, from Exmouth, who died the day before his 24th birthday

Steve Sanders, from Exmouth, who died the day before his 24th birthday

Archant

Brixington’s Steve Sanders was killed on the eve of his birthday

Exmouth is in mourning for a 23-year-old Brixington man, who died the day before his birthday in a tragic motorcycle accident in Topsham.

Named locally as Steve Sanders, he had been riding pillion on Tuesday afternoon on a Suzuki motorcycle on the main Exeter to Topsham route, near Retreat Drive, when the vehicle was involved in a crash with a Jeep.

Steve’s friends and family were yesterday coming to terms with his death on what would have been his 24th birthday.

A ‘kind, honest and lovely person’, Steve, a paintball marshal at Adrenalin Games, near Exeter, touched all who met him with his sense of fun and laughter.

Yesterday, old school friends - who had known former Duchy College student Steve since their primary school days - and those who he met while he was a student at Exmouth Community College expressed their sadness and shock as the news filtered through the town of his death.

Amid birthday wishes for their much-loved pal, some talked of his loyalty as a friend, how he had made them laugh in times of sorrow and how he always had a smile – even when he faced his own difficulties.

An ‘awesome guy’ who ‘touched so many hearts’, Steve, a former bar manager at Sandy Bay, will be remembered for his ‘cheeky smile’ and his quest to bring happiness into the lives of his friends and family.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision, which occurred on Tuesday at around 3.40pm.

Both vehicles were travelling in the same direction, heading out of Exeter towards Topsham.

The rider of the motorcycle, also from Exmouth, was taken by ambulance to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital with what police described as ‘serious injuries’.

He was transferred to Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth. His condition was unknown at the time of going to press.

Steve was also taken by ambulance to the RD&E hospital and later died from his injuries.

Police said the driver of the Jeep was not thought to have sustained injuries.

Roads near the crash site were closed for several hours after the accident.

A Devon and Cornwall police spokesperson said: “Sadly, the pillion passenger on the motorbike has died of his injuries. He was 23-years-old and from the Exmouth area.

“The rider of the motorbike received serious injuries. The collision took place at the junction between Exeter Road and Retreat Drive, Topsham.”

Investigating officers are appealing for witnesses to contact them on 101, quoting log number 453 150414.

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