Belfast Telegraph

Monday 26 January 2015

Hospice driver killed during storms

The Coast Road Carrickfergus, as the waves crashes over the walls.Northern Ireland is being battered with extreme weather conditions as the tail end of Hurricane Katia sweeps across the Atlantic.
The Coast Road Carrickfergus, as the waves crashes over the walls.Northern Ireland is being battered with extreme weather conditions as the tail end of Hurricane Katia sweeps across the Atlantic.
George Brown was killed when a tree hit the vehicle he was driving in high winds (Butterwick Hospice/PA)
The tail end of Hurricane Katia, currently crossing the Atlantic, hitting the north coast of Ireland at Portstewart on Monday. Gales of up to 80 mph, flooding and higher tides are expected to last into Tuesday morning. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
A train makes its way through strong winds as high waves batter the shore near Saltcoats, north Ayrshire
Actors and extras keep away from the destruction caused by the gale force winds that ripped a steel framed marquee right out of the ground, it was being used to hold the actors and extras and several were injured as a result on the Game of Thrones set in Co Antrim. Picture submitted by Ryan McAnearney
Up to 15 cars were damaged after a roof blew off a new construction during high winds
Actors and extras keep away from the destruction caused by the gale force winds that ripped a steel framed marquee right out of the ground, it was being used to hold the actors and extras and several were injured as a result on the Game of Thrones set in Co Antrim. Picture submitted by Ryan McAnearney
The Coast Road Carrickfergus, as the waves crashes over the walls.Northern Ireland is being battered with extreme weather conditions as the tail end of Hurricane Katia sweeps across the Atlantic.
Fishermen hanging on to their boat as it is swamped with the tail end of Hurricane Katia, currently crossing the Atlantic, hitting the north coast of Ireland at Portstewart on Monday. Gales of up to 80 mph, flooding and higher tides are expected to last into Tuesday morning.
Fishermen attempt to secure their boats as the tail end of Hurricane Katia, currently crossing the Atlantic, hits the north coast of Ireland at Portstewart on Monday. Gales of up to 80 mph, flooding and higher tides are expected to last into Tuesday morning.
The tail end of Hurricane Katia, currently crossing the Atlantic, hitting the north coast of Ireland at Portstewart on Monday. Gales of up to 80 mph, flooding and higher tides are expected to last into Tuesday morning.
Fishermen attempt to secure their boats as the tail end of Hurricane Katia, currently crossing the Atlantic, hits the north coast of Ireland at Portstewart on Monday. Gales of up to 80 mph, flooding and higher tides are expected to last into Tuesday morning.
High speed winds hit the country yesterday as Northern Ireland experienced tailwinds from Hurricane Katia. People battled through the wind yesterday at Loughshore
High speed winds hit the country yesterday as Northern Ireland experienced tailwinds from Hurricane Katia. People battled through the wind yesterday at Loughshore
High speed winds hit the country yesterday as Northern Ireland experienced tailwinds from Hurricane Katia. People battled through the wind yesterday at Loughshore. Sonja Sleator battling through the winds
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 9th September 2011Severe winds in Belfast have brought down a tree partly blocking Kennedy Way to cars and pedestrians. Mandatory Credit - Picture by Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 9th September 2011Severe winds in Belfast have brought down a tree partly blocking Kennedy Way to cars and pedestrians. Mandatory Credit - Picture by Stephen Hamilton/Presseye.com
Gales and high tides sweep the coast at Blackpool as the remnants of Hurricane Katia hit British shores
Hurricane Katia as seen from International Space Station

Tributes have been paid to a "selfless and loyal" hospice ambulance driver killed by a falling tree as the remnants of Hurricane Katia brought 80mph winds to Britain.

Volunteer George Brown, 68, from High Etherley, County Durham, was killed on Monday afternoon on the A688 between Staindrop and Bishop Auckland.

He was driving to collect patients on behalf of Butterwick Hospice in Bishop Auckland when the tree fell on to the ambulance.

Passenger Peter Foster, 68, from Crook, County Durham, also a volunteer driver, suffered non life-threatening injuries and was being treated at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

On Tuesday, hospice bosses paid tribute to Mr Brown, who leaves a wife, Mary, a son, a daughter and three grandchildren.

Graham Leggatt-Chidgey, chief executive of the Butterwick, said in a statement: "This is a terrible tragedy for George's family, friends and colleagues. We have lost a selfless and loyal member of our team at the Butterwick and his family has lost a husband, father and grandfather.

"George has been a volunteer driver since 1999 and was greatly respected by everyone who knew him. There is a deep sense of shock throughout the hospice team at this awful loss. We send his wife, Mary, and his family our deepest sympathy and our prayers and will support them in any way we can."

Thousands were left without power on Monday night as the strong winds caused damage to buildings and disrupted travel.

Firefighters in West Yorkshire said they were called to a number of other weather-related incidents on Monday including two in which telegraph poles came down, setting fields on fire. A spokeswoman for Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said no-one was injured in the incident.

Steve Ellison, a forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said conditions had eased on Tuesday although winds remained strong. "We're looking at winds of just over 50mph, possibly reaching 60mph in the most exposed areas," he said.

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