Tribute to Doncaster crash victims

Zac Payne
Zac Payne

A mum today paid an emotional tribute to her son, one of two Doncaster railway workers killed in a horror crash on the A1.

Welders Zac Payne and Michael Morris died when their van caught fire after it collided with a lorry on the busy trunk road in Nottinghamshire.

The scene of a fatal crash on the A1 Northbound near Claypole.

The scene of a fatal crash on the A1 Northbound near Claypole.

Twenty-year-old Zac’s mum, Margaret Peckett, said: “He was just a lovely lad. He didn’t smoke and drink or have any problems.

“We don’t know anything about what happened to him.

“We’re still waiting to hear reports from the police. There’s nothing more we want to say.”

Zac, of Low Road, Balby, a former pupil at Edlington School, played for Warmsworth Cricket Club in the South Yorkshire Senior League and the Barnsley Senior League. A minute’s silence in Zac’s memory was held before a club match on Saturday, attended by members of his family, while proceeds of a fundraising event held on Sunday will go to his relatives rather than the clubhouse roof appeal.

Richard Nettleton, club secretary, said the batsman and occasional wicketkeeper was “a valued team player who always gave 100 per cent”.

He said: “He always did it with a smile on his face. He never let you down and he always did his best and was improving as he went along.”

As a boy Zac also played for Sprotbrough Crusaders football club and the Mustangs American football youth team.

His colleague Michael Morris, aged 48, of Castle Mews, Scawthorpe, leaves his wife Susan.

The men, who worked for Renown Railway Services, were on their way back from a night shift last Wednesday when the collision occurred at Claypole, just south of Newark, at about 5.30am.

Their works van is believed to have contained acetylene gas cylinders and the blaze was so intense the northbound carriageway of the trunk road was closed for more than 24 hours because a stretch had to be resurfaced.

The 60-year-old driver of a lorry, which was carrying carpets, was uninjured but left shaken after the crash.

Fire crews spent almost 12 hours at the incident because they need to cool down the gas cylinders to prevent them exploding.

Staffordshire-based Renown, which has a training centre on the Gunhills Lane industrial estate, Armthorpe, declined to comment.

n Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101.