GALLERY: Amy steps inside plane for first time to do skydive for friend who died at North Bank

22:18 09 March 2014

Amy Sprouse on her tandem sky dive.

Amy Sprouse on her tandem sky dive.

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A young woman who had never flown before leapt out of a plane at 12,000 ft in memory of her late friend.

Amy Sprouse on her tandem sky dive.Amy Sprouse on her tandem sky dive.

Amy Sprouse, of Peterborough, bravely decided to do a tandem skydive at Sibson Airfield near Peterborough to raise money for a Fenland road safety campaign.

Her friend, Hannah Yates, 18, of Whittlesey, drowned when her car left the notorious North Bank road near Whittlesey and plunged into the River Nene on November 3.

Cheered on by her boyfriend Scott Prentice, who was also a friend of Hannah’s, she approached the skydive without fear.

She said: “It was amazing. I would do it again, although it makes your stomach go a little.

Amy Sprouse on her tandem sky dive.Amy Sprouse on her tandem sky dive.

“We jumped from 12,000 ft and were only free falling for a few seconds. That was the scary part.”

Her efforts have raised £400 for the Fenland Road Safety Campaign (Charlotte’s Way), who are pushing for safety improvements on the North Bank and other dangerous Fen roads.

Campaign founder Graham Chappell paid tribute to the fearless Ms Sprouse.

He said: “What she did was just extraordinary. She contacted me in November and offered to support the campaign.

Amy Sprouse on her tandem sky dive.Amy Sprouse on her tandem sky dive.

“She proposed a skydive, which she said she would do entirely at her expense so all the money went to the campaign. She fulfilled that promise.
“On the day, she was in the very capable hands of instructor Tim, who has done more than 19,500 jumps.

“I was astonished to learn that she had never been in a plane before. She approached the jump with no nerves. It was remarkable.”

Campaigners successfully pushed for a 250 metre safety barrier to be installed on the North Bank in December but they are still pushing for an average speed camera system to be installed on the stretch of road.

Mr Chappell said: “We are still pursuing extra protection on the barrier to reduce the risk of injuring motorcyclists.

“In addition, we are in discussion with the installers of average safety camera systems about their latest camera system which is available this year. It is better and cheaper than its predecessors.”

A charity darts tournament will be held on March 23 in memory of another victim of the North Bank road.

Leslie George died when his car left North Bank and crashed into the River Nene in March 2008.

To mark the sixth anniversary of his death, his sister Jayne and her husband Donald Cliffe have organised the Leslie George Memorial Charity Darts Tournament at the Ivy Leaf Club, Whittlesey.

Proceeds from the night will go to the road safety campaign.

Registration for the tournament must take place by 9.30am on March 23, with the tournament starting at 10am. The winner will get £50 and a trophy. Tickets are £5.

For more information call Jayne Cliffe on 07731 359757.

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