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Saturday, 23 March, 2002, 12:28 GMT
Hollioake killed in car crash
The scene of Ben Hollioake's crash in Perth.
Floral tributes at the scene of the crash
England cricketer Ben Hollioake has been killed in a car crash in Australia after driving back late at night from a family meal.

The 24-year-old died instantly in the accident at the wheel of his black Porsche 924, which came off the road in the early hours of Saturday morning in Perth, Western Australia.

His passenger, girlfriend Janaya Scholten, 22, is in a critical condition in hospital. No other vehicle was involved.

Hollioake's father fought back tears as he spoke of the devastation of losing his son.

It was horrific for Eboni (Ben's sister) to see it happen and she then phoned us all and we went to the scene.
Ben's father
John Hollioake

John Hollioake, who lives in Perth, Australia, described how his daughter Eboni watched in horror as her brother's car left the road in front of her and crashed into a pylon.

He said: "It is just devastating, especially for Eboni, who saw her brother crash and could do nothing about it.

"She is absolutely devastated, as we all are. "We cannot quite understand why it had to happen to such a wonderful lad."

Ben's sister Eboni and her boyfriend Luke were following his Porsche in a car behind as the family returned from a meal at a Perth restaurant.

The wreck of Ben Hollioake's Porsche after his fatal accident in Perth, Australia.
The wrecked interior of Hollioake's Porsche

Ben's brother, Surrey cricket captain, Adam, had already left the road to go to his home and their parents John and Daria had carried on a different route.

Hollioake senior said: "We had been out for a meal because Ben and Adam were returning to England. It is something we do every year and it had been a lovely evening.

"We were all in convoy but then Adam turned off to go to his house and Ben turned off for his road, followed by Eboni, while we carried on.

"It was horrific for Eboni to see it happen and she then phoned us all and we went to the scene. The sight was awful.

"Ben's career was just taking off again and to lose him now is devastating."

Speeding question mark

Police investigating the accident said they had not ruled out the possibility that speed had contributed to the accident.

But John Hollioake said he doubted his son was exceeding the legal limit.

Ben had lost control of the Porsche as it came off a ramp on an expressway in the south of the city.

Ben Hollioake in action for Englang against Australia at the Oval, June 2001.
Hollioake at bat for England

England's cricket side, currently playing New Zealand in the second Test in Wellington, were made aware of Hollioake's death at the lunch interval.

They requested that the England flag be lowered to half-mast during the lunch break and black armbands were worn by both teams' batsmen.

Visiting parents

The 24-year-old Surrey all-rounder was born in Australia but moved to Britain from Perth in 1984.

Hollioake played two Tests for England - against Australia in 1997 and Sri Lanka in 1998.

He played 20 one-day internationals, scoring 309 runs and taking eight wickets.

Hollioake is the second Surrey player to die in a car crash in recent years, following Graham Kersey's similar accident near Brisbane in December 1996.

Kersey's death led to Ben's brother Adam, as captain, dedicating Surrey's Benson and Hedges final success the following summer to their late wicketkeeper.

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
"Ben Hollioake was a free-spirited, hugely talented cricketer"
BBC's Dominic Hughes
"Hollioake was the youngest England debutant since 1949"
England captain Nasser Hussain
"He was a top lad"
Inspector Greg Medhurst of Perth State Police
"Indications are there was only one vehicle involved"
See also:

22 Mar 02 |  England
Hussain form continues
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