Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

BBC tribute to river death father

David Cox died in the river crash near the Monsal Trail, north of the A6 in Derbyshire

The head of the BBC has paid tribute to an employee who died after his car plunged into a river as he and his wife took their children to school.

David Cox, 42, and his wife Ruth were driving their children Tess, 11, and Ioan, nine, in separate cars on the school run on Thursday morning when they both skidded off a narrow path and into the River Wye.

Tess managed to escape her father's Toyota Aygo and get safely to the riverbank but Mr Cox died after being trapped in the car for about 40 minutes. Neighbours launched a desperate rescue attempt to try to free Mr Cox from the vehicle. He later died in hospital.

Mrs Cox, 39, and Ioan got out of their Toyota Rav 4 unharmed after it also veered off the bridle path, which runs near the Monsal Trail, north of the A6 in Derbyshire, and into the water.

Acting BBC director general Tim Davie praised Mr Cox's role in the corporation's coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

He said: "We are very sad to learn of David's tragic death. He was a popular member of the Future Media team in Salford and had been key to the success of the red button service during the Olympics in the summer. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues here at the BBC at this difficult time."

Emergency services said the wintry conditions were thought to be a contributing factor. Neighbour Victoria Bamber said Ioan came running down the country lane shouting for help to free his father.

She told reporters: "He came banging on the door saying 'There's been an accident, Daddy is trapped'. When I got to the scene, I could only see the silver 4x4 upside down in the water and Ruth was desperately trying to find David."

Mrs Bamber said she and others waded into the freezing cold water to try to free Mr Cox, and smashed the window with a large rock so the central locking failed and the car doors would open. It is thought Tess escaped through the rear window which had smashed.

A police officer who arrived on the scene also waded into the water to help but, despite the efforts of emergency services personnel, Mr Cox could not be saved. Mrs Cox and the two children were unhurt in the accident, police said.

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