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Saturday, 18 April 2015

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Two cyclists killed in Cumbrian road crash named

Two cyclists killed on the main A595 road yesterday afternoon have been named by police.

Townend brothers photo
Niggy Townend, left and Christian Townend

Related: Two cyclists dead after Cumbria coach collision

The mother of brothers Christian David Michael Townend, 29 and Nicholas Rowan Townend, 21, today paid tribute to her sons.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Eleanor Townend said: “My beautiful sons were loved by all who knew them. Their zest for life and lively sense of humour never failed to bring us joy.

"They shared a love of the outdoors and the local area. They will be greatly missed and never forgotten.”

Christian and Nicholas, known as Niggy, died in a collision with a coach at around 2.55pm yesterday on the A595 near the Moota Garden Centre.

Keen cyclists, they had been returning home after a ride in the Silloth area.

A 42-year-old coach driver from Carlisle has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

He was taken to Workington police station and interviewed before being released on bail until February 6 while investigations continue.

The coach, from Carlisle firm Stacey’s, was travelling in the Cockermouth direction, as were the brothers, who were the eldest and youngest of a family of four brothers who grew up in Lorton and Cockermouth.

They were former pupils at Cockermouth School.

Christian, who lived at Brigham, graduated from Sheffield University in 2003 with a degree in pharmacology and worked in Cumbria for United Utilities as a scientific officer.

Niggy, of Cockermouth, was working at the Kirkstile Inn in Loweswater and making arrangements to further his education at university prior to a career in journalism.

Peter French, assistant head of Cockermouth School, said the brothers’ deaths were a massive blow to the school.

He added: “Any death of previous students is always a blow to the school because it is part of the community and our thoughts go out to their other two brothers and mother and father.

“To have your children taken away and in such tragic circumstances is not right.”

Mr French said both brothers were well-liked in the school with a good sense of humour.

He said: “Both of them had very good, strong friendship groups, they were well-liked and had loyal circles of friends.

“They were both likeable fellows with a sense of adventure and were always wanting to get the best out of life.

“They were lovely lads, good academic kids and they did well in their subjects.”

The busy A595 – the main link from Carlisle to west Cumbria – was closed for six hours while emergency services cleared the scene and west Cumbria roads traffic police along with the force’s collision investigation unit launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.

The Van Hool Astron coach was recovered from the roadside by breakdown specialists.

Witnesses are being urged to come forward, particularly a queue of traffic between an Eddie Stobart lorry and the scene, who may have been turned away from the accident.

Christian and Niggy are survived by their parents Eleanor and Mike, brothers Richy and Robin, grandmother Anne and other family members.

The double tragedy is the second to occur on the A595 in the last four days.

Grace Simpson and Jessica Lakin, both 19, were travelling to work just after 9am last Thursday when their Peugeot 206 was involved in a collision with a Royal Mail lorry, near Carlisle.

The Carlisle teenagers both worked as beauty therapists at Armathwaite Hall Hotel, near Keswick, and had been friends since meeting at Trinity School.

On Saturday morning, a lorry jack-knifed on the A595 at Moota, very close to the scene of Sunday’s tragedy.

Police closed the road from around 7.30am for an hour while the vehicle was recovered. It is not believed anyone was injured.

Any witnesses to Sunday’s collision are asked to phone police on 0845 3300247.

Leave your tributes to Christian and Niggy Townend below

Have your say

after spending some of the best weekends of my life with Christian , i spent the last year trying to work out where he had gone , may be lost my number ... i only heard about this 2 days ago and im speech less ... i love that guy , i cant believe what im reading , i have so many pics ... and he was part of a unique breed / generation .... the nite club gatecrasher and the rare breed of young men and women that became a family are a man down ... so sorry to hear this ... i will be visiting his grave stone and im pretty sure i will see him again x

Posted by James Alexander Topi ...also now as KId on 20 November 2011 at 06:21

Mike and Eleanor, I have only just heard your tragic news, we are all thinking of you. With much love Julian Joshua, Harry and Alexandra.

Posted by Julian Banks on 15 December 2010 at 12:57

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