July 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, March 14, 2014
With thick fog leaving visibility down to only a few yards there was an eerie atmosphere at Gillingham last night.
Police had blocked the road close to the A143/A146 roundabout near McDonalds restaurant, and traffic wanting to travel along the A146 quickly tailed back.
Many people who had wanted to travel in the Haddiscoe direction were forced to find an alternative route through the Norfolk countryside.
The helicopter came down in woodland close to Gillingham church and Gillingham Hall.
It is a very rural area which is mainly woodland and well away from the main village as it is separated from the busy Norwich to Lowestoft Road.
A number of villagers came up to the roundabout and there was a lot of sadness as details of the tragedy became clearer and news spread that four people had lost their lives.
“Gillingham is a lovely village where everyone knows one another. This has hit all of us very much,” said one woman who asked not to be named.
Her partner said they did not know about the crash until it appeared on websites and news broadcasts.
“I just thought we had to come up here but there is nothing we can do,” he said.
By 11pm more emergency service vehicles arrived on the scene including a large lorry and trailer.
Local residents who had come up to the roundabout left with some saying they still could not believe the tragedy that had unfolded in this small Norfolk village close to the River Waveney.
Gillingham is only a mile from Beccles but separated by the River Waveney.
It is a small but busy Norfolk village with a public house and a village hall.
The village is a close-knit community with plenty of activities arranged for all ages. It also has a thriving village primary school.
It is a village where most people know each other and a tragedy like this is bound to have a major impact on the community.