Villagers turn out for funeral of crash victim Louis
- Credit: Terry Harris
Masks worn to help contain Covid-19, only partially succeeded in concealing the heartache and shared pain of a village today as it mourned the death of a five-month-old baby.
Small, socially distanced groups stood in places wall to wall as Waterbeach turned out to say goodbye to Louis Thorold.
He was killed when a van left the A10 at Waterbeach and ploughed into his pram.
Louis died at the scene and his mother, Rachel, 36, who remains in hospital, was seriously injured.
It was the family’s wish for their friends and for villagers to be offered a moment to pay their respects.
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Some had even crept from across the borders of neighbouring villages to be there to stand quietly, reverently and offer up prayers for Louis and the family he has left devastated and grief stricken.
The A10 near Waterbeach has seen many deaths over many years but this, whilst as tragic as all fatalities on our roads, somehow seemed more poignant, even surreal.
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The cortege passed slowly around the village green, with staff from the local pharmacy coming out to stay silent and respectful as it moved by them. Many held flowers, most clutched a handkerchief.
And then it was onto Horningsea and into Cambridge for the funeral service.
In an emotional post to his village Facebook group, the baby’s father and Rachel’s husband Chris spoke of the “extremely hard three weeks” since the crash.
But he offered particular thanks to those who had raised over £21,000 through a fund-raising appeal.
Mr Thorold says he is in the process of setting up a charity in Louis’ memory “but it’s first achievement will be to change the A10 junction where this happened so this never happens again”.
The fatal incident happened at about 3.50pm on the A10, Ely Road, Waterbeach, on January 22 when a grey Mazda 2 was in collision with a white Renault Master van.
The van left the road and collided with Rachel, who was walking on the pavement with her baby Louis in a pushchair.
The driver of the van and the driver of the Mazda suffered slight injuries.
An inquest last week heard that Louis died from a traumatic head injury.
The inquest has been adjourned until April 26.
In a tribute to his son, Thorold said: "You were only with us for a short time, but you made us the happiest people in the world."
Mr Thorold, the finance director of Marshall Aerospace, added: "Your joyful smile and laughter will never leave us."
Cambridgeshire Police confirmed that no arrests have been made but that an investigation remains ongoing.