A WAR veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan has died after his motorbike was involved in a head-on collision on a country road.
David Frampton, of Ramsbottom, was riding his Honda VFR along Blackburn Road, Darwen, in the direction of Egerton when he collided with an Audi A3 travelling the opposite way.
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Police said Mr Frampton is believed to have drifted on to the wrong side of the road at the left-hand bend near Stones Bank Road.
The A666 has become a blackspot for a number of serious accidents in recent years prompting calls for traffic calming measures and increased police speed checks.
Mr Frampton, a married 36-year-old died at the scene.
In a statement issued by his family yesterday, his relatives paid tribute to the former RAF serviceman who said his loss was ‘indescribable’.
The tribute said: “David Frampton was a courageous, warm-hearted, devoted man who truly touched the lives of all he met.
“He was a much-beloved husband, son, brother and friend.
“David spent his life serving in the Royal Air Force Regiment on 2, 27 and 58 squadrons in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“He was very highly regarded and received international commendation for his work in the protection of our servicemen and women.
“Upon leaving the RAF, he dreamed of becoming a teacher and had obtained his first post supporting children with special needs.
“David had a huge range of interests and was phenomenally well read.
“He loved his motorbikes, and playing golf. His loss is indescribable.”
Police said the driver and passenger of the Audi A3 involved in the collision were treated for shock, whiplash and minor cuts.
The road was closed for five hours from 4pm on Wednesday as police investigated the accident and recovery took place.
In October, 2011, and April, 2012, four people died in two separate car accidents at Bull Hill, leading to questions over whether the road was safe.
Whitehall councillor David Foster has been campaigning for safety measures in the area for years.
Thanks to his efforts residents in the area have seen a change to the speed limit going out of Darwen, as well as new warning signs and recently-installed traffic islands.
Coun Foster said: “We actually got caught in it ourselves because we were coming back from our daughter’s in Horwich.
“It is a tragedy and we have got to find ways of making that road safer.
“I am hoping that the bits we are doing at Bull Hill will slow the traffic down.
“But higher up as it goes towards Blackburn Road I am not sure what the solution is to be honest.”
Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry echoed the calls for improved safety and suggested increased police speed check points may force road users to slow down.
He said: “This is an appalling tragedy and my heart goes out to the family.
“This road has been known as an accident blackspot for several years and it is now time for action to be taken by the police to reduce the number of accidents on this stretch of road.
“I think police should do more speed checks in the area to try and slow down motorists.
“It is unfortunate that it may have taken a fatality to prompt such action to be taken.”
Residents in the area also took to social networking site Facebook yesterday to express their concerns about the safety of the road.
Bob Wood posted: “Something needs to be done with this stretch of the road, there have been too many fatalities.
“Our thoughts go out to him and his family.”
Sarah Eccles posted: “I was about 10 cars back when this accident happened. Such a shame.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very sad time.”
Lucie Alexandra Jones posted: “This is a terrible accident.
“The A666 is a bad road for accidents, that is partly why they call it the Devil’s Highway.”
Police are now urging anyone who witnessed the collision to contact them.
Sgt Malcolm Bell, of the Road Policing Team, said: “We are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the collision or seen the motorbike in the area to get in touch with us so that we can establish how this accident has happened.
“We are not treating this as suspicious and anyone with information should contact police.
“It is a very difficult time for the family of the motorcyclist and they are being supported by specially trained officers.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting log number 0851 of 20 August.