Men killed in truck tragedy named

Published: Thursday 12th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Three men who were killed when a 32-tonne tipper truck careered out of control down a hill have been formally identified.

Robert Parker, 59, from Cwmbran, and Philip Allen, 52, and Stephen Vaughan, 34, both from Swansea, died in the incident in Lansdown Lane, Weston, Bath, on Monday afternoon, Avon and Somerset Police said.

Four-year-old Mitzi Rosanna Steady, from Bath, also suffered fatal injuries when she was hit by the truck as she walked down the lane with her grandmother.

Her grandmother, whose name has not been released by police, was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol, where she remains in a critical condition.

The Scania truck, carrying sand and gravel, collided with Mitzi and her grandmother, and then struck other cars before overturning onto a Volvo at the bottom of the hill.

The three men inside the vehicle – taxi driver Mr Vaughan, electricity company director Mr Allen and Mr Parker – were killed instantly.

Mitzi’s family previously released a photograph of the little girl and a short statement saying: “Mitzi Rosanna Steady, aged four, loved and missed by us all.”

Staff at Snapdragons Nursery in Weston, which Mitzi attended, said their “hearts go out” to the little girl’s family.

“We will always miss her smile and her warmth,” they said.

Mother-of-two Katie D’Arcy, who lives locally, said she would often see Mitzi walking on the road with her grandmother.

“She was a gorgeous little girl – it’s just unbelievable and it’s just so shocking when it is somebody you know,” she said.

Tributes have also been paid to Mr Vaughan, from Penyrheol, near Gorseinon, Swansea, who ran luxury taxi firm EliteXecutive Travel and married fiancee Sian in Turkey last year.

“Sian is totally and utterly devastated,” a friend, who did not wish to be named, said. “They had not even been married for a year.

“Stevie was a dedicated husband and a successful businessman too. It was admirable how he built his business up and made a real go of it too.

“He was always polite and punctual and great conversation too.”

Father-of-two Mr Allen, who lived in Loughor, Swansea, with wife Caroline, was a resources and external affairs director for Cardiff-based Western Power Distribution.

Relatives comforting Mrs Allen, 53, said she was too distressed to speak to the media following his death.

Around 400 residents attended an hour-long prayer service for the victims at All Saints Church Weston, led by Rector Patrick Whitworth, on Tuesday.

Children, parents and grandparents lit candles and used colourful pens to write messages of condolence on white fabric.

Bereavement counselling is being offered to children at Weston All Saints Primary School, some of whom witnessed the collision.

Books of condolences have been opened in libraries at Bath and Weston, while tribute flowers have been left at a nearby church.

Witnesses have told police the truck driver appeared to be trying to avert an accident and repeatedly sounded his horn.

Avon and Somerset Police have spoken to the driver, who sustained minor injuries, in hospital and will interview him fully at a later stage.

Speaking earlier this week, Chief Inspector Norman Pascal said: “This is a tragic incident in which three men and a young girl have lost their lives and we’re carrying out a full and meticulous investigation.”

Resident Lorraine Evans wrote in the book of condolence at Weston Library that she had witnessed the tragedy with her son and father.

“All I can see is that lorry coming towards us and I’m so thankful to be here now,” she wrote.

“But I carry so much guilt and sadness for the lives lost! I wish there was something I could do or say to take your pain away.”

Other residents have described concern at lorries and cars driving up and down the steep hill at high speeds for years before the tragedy.

Mother-of-three Sarah Gleave, 39, described Lansdown Lane as a “rat run” in to the city of Bath and said she had moved from the top of the hill due to safety concerns.

“Measures have been put in place and it is supposed to be 20mph but even when it was a 30mph the number of cars that would go speeding up and down the hill,” Mrs Gleave said.

“I have seen crashes on the hill before, not anything like that obviously but it is a difficult situation. We are all in shock and coming to terms with what happened.”

The crash in Bath is reminiscent of a horrific accident in 1993 in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, when six people died after a tipper truck carrying 20 tonnes of gravel lost control on a steep hill and hit a van and then a shop.

Published: Thursday 12th February 2015 by The News Editor

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