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Family's heartache at death of cyclist, 74, after HGV collision

PUBLISHED: 11:52 02 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 04 June 2019

Sheila Holmes. PHOTO: Courtesy of Holmes family

Sheila Holmes. PHOTO: Courtesy of Holmes family

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A cyclist died yards from her home in a collision with a lorry as she made her way back with shopping.

Sheila Holmes. PHOTO: Courtesy of Holmes familySheila Holmes. PHOTO: Courtesy of Holmes family

Sheila Holmes, 74, passed away near to her St John's Road home, in Bungay, on Tuesday, May 28 shortly before 3pm, with police and an air ambulance attending the scene.

In a family statement, her children Tracey, Julian, Karen and Trudi said she was the hub of the family and would be deeply missed by all.

They said: "Her interests and various jobs made her widely known and recognisable around the town. She was the lady with the dogs, the lady on the bike, the lady who sells plants from her front garden for charity, the lady who would do a little sewing job for you.

"Throughout her life, she would help anyone, sometimes for years at a time.

Sheila Holmes. PHOTO: Courtesy of Holmes familySheila Holmes. PHOTO: Courtesy of Holmes family

"She visited her widowed neighbour, doing shopping and helping with medicines. She helped her brother look after his children, having them before and after school and cooking their evening meal.

"She visited her great aunt daily as she declined in health and later did the same for her own mum, biking over to Earsham in all weathers to do so. Eventually, she took her into her own home for as long as she was able to look after her."

The family praised the "incredibly sympathetic response" from the Bungay community to their mother's death saying it has been "a huge support and comfort to us all."

The 74-year-old grew up in Earsham but had lived at her Bungay home for 50 years.

She had worked at All Hallows Hospital, the Natwest bank, Nursey's, the Tally Ho pub, the Three Tuns Hotel, Bungay Textiles and, more recently, Wightman's of Bungay.

She is also a grandmother to Emma, Vicki, Louise and Ben, as well as a great-grandmother to Luke.

The family statement said: "She was a homemaker and her interests were simple: Gardening, with an encylopaedic knowledge of all plants; her dogs, cat and budgies, and the wild birds and creatures which visited her garden; and good old fashioned home baking, knitting and sewing."

The lorry driver, who was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, has been released from police custody pending further investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the collision should contact the Serious Collision Investigation Team at Suffolk Police on 101, quoting reference CAD 188 of May 28.

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