On this day, half a century ago, a major road incident occurred at Gate 1a, just after 6am and sadly resulted in the death of four hospital employees and was instrumental in introducing safety measures for heavy goods vehicle drivers.
The granddaughter of one of those colleagues who was tragically killed, picks up the story:
“My sister and I were nine and seven years old respectively when our grandfather was killed – at the time we had no idea that we would go on to give over 50 years service between us to the Trust.
“There are parts of this event that we remember well, much of the rest we have been told over the years as we’ve grown up. How he [our grandfather] came out from behind the bus he had just got off and saw a lorry approaching yet still ran onto the crossing to try and get his co-workers out of the way. How another worker came from the other side of the road to do the same – and how the lorry driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. The injuries grandad sustained lead to his death.
“The influence this event has had on our lives has been subtle but huge, working at DRI and choosing to leave through maternity car park to see his name on the plaque in front of the trees. Watching our grandfathers work as Head Gardener disappear over the years has been sad but we recognise the need for expansion and growth and we were so please that at the culmination of my career, the Rainbow Garden was created. He would have appreciated the work and thought put into that project.
“There is also the awesome strength and testimony of our grandmother who attended the trails and acknowledged how much the driver had lost by his actions and forgave him. Our grandparents have both been a role model for us [my sister and I] all our lives.”
In loving memory of Edward “Ted” Baxter, Freda Abrahams, May Fox and Harry Lifsey.