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Family of Lowestoft man who died in karting crash in Beccles say race briefing was 'confusing'

PUBLISHED: 09:48 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:48 28 February 2018

Ellough Park Raceway near Beccles. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Ellough Park Raceway near Beccles. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

The family of a man who died while taking part in a birthday go-kart race say the marshals' instructions on the warning flags prior to the race was "completely confusing".

Allan Fairweather, 64, of Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, died on September 25, 2016, at the Ellough Park Raceway, near Beccles, while the family were celebrating his brother Andrew’s 60th birthday.

Mr Fairweather was thrown from his kart when he was rear-ended by his daughter-in-law Peggy Fairweather, while his vehicle was “slow moving or stationary” on the start/finish line.

Yesterday (Tuesday), an inquest looking into his death heard that family members were shown a safety video by the National Karting Association before heading onto the racetrack.

However, family members claim a second briefing conducted by a marshal just before they set off was “completely confusing” and that instructions on what the chequered flag meant were contradictory to the video they had watched.

Peggy Fairweather told the court “it was the worst time of my life”. She said she did not expect Mr Fairweather’s kart to be waiting on the finishing line as she sped round, trying to overtake another racer.

Jenny Fairweather told the inquest that race marshal Phil George had told the group that they should slow down and stop when the chequered flag was raised.

She said: “We were told when you see the chequered flag, come to a stop and we will put you in your grid position.”

Mr Fairweather’s son Jason added that his father was the “nicest man he had ever met” and was always one to follow instructions”.

He said: “He was one of the loveliest men.

“He was nice and safe my dad, steady options all the time.”

However, marshal Ben Davey said his colleagues would not tell karters to stop at the finishing line.

He said when he spotted Mr Fairweather slowing, he waved for him to speed up and was given a “thumbs up” in return.

He said: “I noticed two karts, neither of them looking where they were going as they were looking at each other.

“Then the impact happened and one kart went into the back of another.”

The inquest continues.

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