Thousands of spectators watched in horror as a man was killed when a trick at a stunt show went tragically wrong.

A motorbike which had taken off from a ramp landed on 59-year-old Colin Burns, of Fernlea Road, Dovercourt - the show's master of ceremonies - and he died almost instantly.

Two ambulances, a doctor and an Essex Ambulance officer rushed to the scene at the Rush Green Recreation Ground, Clacton, on Wednesday but it was too late.

The show was immediately cancelled and the shocked crowd - including hundreds of children - was asked to leave the arena.

Mr Burns - stage name Richard Kyall - was taking part in the People Jump at the Hollywood Stunt Show.

The motorcyclist had already successfully taken off the ramp over a number of crew lying on the ground.

Mr Burns then laid down at the end of the row. The rider appeared to lose control after he took off the ramp and landed on him.

Bob Foster, an entertainments' officer with Tendring Council, was in the crowd with his son, Edward.

"Everything had started off so well - there was a huge crowd and the first few tricks were spectacular," he said.

"The rider successfully made his jumps and they were adding to the people laying on the ground. The compere Richard Kyall, who I have worked with at the Princes Theatre and knew, was then persuaded to take his place.

"The motorcyclist started to go up the ramp and it appeared that he missed his take off and came off wrong. He lost control of the bike and landed on Richard and then flew on another 20 feet or so."

Mr Foster said for a split second he thought it was part of the stunt.

"Richard was an illusionist and I thought he would get up and walk away, but then I realised what had happened - it was dreadful," he said.

Mr Foster said his son was shocked and just wanted to go home.

"Everyone was asked to leave the arena and people just filed away to their cars in shock,. There were children crying but others were in stunned silence."

The accident happened about 20 minutes into the 90-minute show. A police spokesman said the motorcyclist was taken to Colchester General Hospital with a suspected broken collar bone.

"A full inquiry will be held in conjunction with the health and safety department of the local authority and the coroner will open an inquest in due course," he said.

(Right) Well-wishers leave floral tributes at the scene of the tragedy

(Left) Victim - Colin Burns, known as Richard Kyall on stage

Prophetic words

The Hollywood Stunt Show in its current format was set up in 1998.

It was the creation of Steve Street Griffin, one of the UK's top film and TV stuntmen with credits in such films as Titanic, Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan.

The millennium tour has seen a change of management with Mark Phillips, of Phillips International Promotions, taking it over.

The show includes Goliath monster trucks, driving through a wall of fire and motorcycle stunts.

In the souvenir programme the People Jump is described as "where members of the team put their lives in their colleagues hands as they are jumped over by BMX, motorbikes and quads. A mistake here and the show could come to an early end."

Families tell of horrific stunt death tragedy

Horrified parents and children who had gathered at the showground screamed in disbelief as the motorbike stunt tragedy unfolded in front of them.

Ronald Hammond, 33, who had taken his seven-year-old son Daniel to see the show, said: "The biker was supposed to jump about 18ft over some people but it didn't look as though he had had enough of a run up.

"The compere was laying on his back and was the last person in the line-up of four or five people. The others ran out of the way but he didn't move.

"The motorbike's rear wheel just came crashing down on his head. It was a horrible and sickening feeling.

"Everybody was screaming and the motorcyclist was just laying on the floor shaking."

Mr Hammond added: "Just before the jump, the commentator said the rider was about to embark on the longest jump he has ever done."

Tony Russell had taken his two young children and their friend to the show.

Mr Russell, 30, of Little Clacton, said: "They gradually increased the number of people the motorbike jumped over and picked up the compere,"

"They put him with his legs spread with his head towards the ramp. The bike took a run up but you could see it was wrong because he was nose-diving immediately.

"His front wheel landed directly on the man's temple. It was absolutely horrific."

Mr Russell, who works in Colchester, said the whole stadium was in a stunned silence.

"People were shocked. There were no gasps or anything. I turned my children away."

Mr Russell said they left straight away.

"On the way out people were being sick, both men and women were crying. It was horrible, you can't describe in words the terror. Both the boys woke up in the night crying."

Victim's showbusiness life

Dovercourt illusionist Richard Kyall thrilled audiences around the world with his act.

The 59-year-old was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and a member of the National Touring Production Stars of the Magic Circle.

He presented cabaret and theatre programmes all over the country and in 1983 did an 18-week summer season with comedian Norman Collier at Clacton's West Cliff Theatre. He also appeared at Clacton's Princes Theatre.

He appeared in many television programmes including Hazell and Z-Cars.

Mr Kyall once told the Gazette that magic was "a hobby that just grew".

Lenny Blease, a member of the Magic Circle, who lives in Walton, said Mr Kyall would be sorely missed.

"Word has already got round and I expect there will be a large turnout from the world of entertainment at his funeral," he said.

"Richard had a very good act. Being trained as an actor he was superb at presenting illusions - and as good as any in his field."

Trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, he started his show business career as an actor.

His stage act was Richard Kyall and Joanna.

In 1984/85 his act was voted the most entertaining by the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

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