Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Tributes to bus death lollipop lady

Lollipop lady Audrey Williams died after she was knocked down by a school bus in Ayr

A lollipop lady who died after being knocked down by a bus carrying schoolchildren has been described as "much-loved" with "a heart of gold".

Audrey Williams, 79, was helping children to cross Hillfoot Road in Ayr when she was hit by the bus at around 8.55am on Thursday. Her family said in a statement that she thoroughly enjoyed her job and "was always happiest in the company of children".

Mrs Williams, from Coylton, Ayr, South Ayrshire, was taken by ambulance to Ayr Hospital where she was treated in intensive care for a head injury.

Her family, believed to have been at her bedside when she died, described her as a very active woman in the local community who would be sorely missed. They said she played cello in the Ayr and Prestwick, Strathspey and Reel Society for many years and was often seen walking her dog through the local countryside.

The 55-year-old driver of the bus and the pupils from nearby Queen Margaret Academy were unhurt.

Sheena Templeton, headteacher of Forehill Primary, where the pupils on foot were heading, said on Thursday: "I'm very saddened to hear our lovely lollipop lady, Audrey, has died this evening. This is devastating news for the school community and our thoughts and sympathies are with her family and friends at this difficult time.

"We will bring our older pupils together in the morning to let them know what has happened and to give them the opportunity to remember Audrey fondly. Support will be available as required to anyone affected by today's events and, once this tragic news has had time to sink in, we can consider as a school how we can best remember our lollipop lady."

Mrs Williams, who had been a school crossing patroller for around 10 years, had crossed from the east to west footpath on Hillfoot Road with the children as they made their way to Forehill Primary. As she turned to cross back to the east footpath, she was struck by the bus. Strathclyde Police said no arrests had been made in connection with the incident and appealed for information.

Sergeant Stevie White said: "Road policing officers have been carrying out a detailed examination at the scene all morning, and at this time we are still working to establish the full circumstances surrounding the accident. The bus was taking approximately 30 children to nearby Queen Margaret Academy, and none of these children were injured either, albeit all are extremely upset."

A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.

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