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Daughter's agony after her father is killed by falling tree

By Deborah McAleese

Published 03/04/2015

Geoffrey Robb was driving a minibus on the Keady Road in Armagh last week when the vehicle was crushed by a falling tree
Geoffrey Robb was driving a minibus on the Keady Road in Armagh last week when the vehicle was crushed by a falling tree

The daughter of a man who was killed when a tree struck his minibus in a freak accident has spoken of her heartbreak at his tragic death.

Geoffrey Robb was driving a minibus on the Keady Road in Armagh last week when the vehicle was crushed by a falling tree.

The 55-year-old bus driver had just returned to work three weeks previously after recovering from a heart attack.

His only daughter Victoria Keys told the Belfast Telegraph she has been left devastated by her father's shock death.

"I was always a daddy's girl. I can't believe he is not here anymore. Sometimes, for a few moments, I forget and I go to pick up the phone to call him to remind him to take his medication and then I remember he is gone. It is like an emptiness that just won't go away," she said.

The 32-year-old, whose nine-month-old daughter Annie was Mr Robb's first and only grandchild, wept as she recalled how the police knocked on the front door of her home in Hillsborough, Co Down, last Thursday evening to tell her that her father had been killed. "After everything daddy had been through I suppose we thought that if it was going to be anything it would be his heart. It was a horrible knock to get at the door. I'm not sure I will ever get over it," she said.

She added: "I never really thought that he wouldn't be around to see Annie growing up and all the milestones. He just adored her. There was nobody like Annie. At least he got to know her during her first nine months."

Mr Robb (below), from Portadown, was driving last Thursday when a large tree fell across the road and on top of the vehicle.

He was working for Dungannon-based firm Eurocoach, which provides transport for people with learning difficulties travelling to day centres, when the accident happened.

A woman who worked with Mr Robb is in a stable condition in hospital after sustaining serious injuries in the crash.

They were travelling towards Armagh after dropping off two passengers near Keady when the accident happened before 5pm.

This is the second tragedy to hit the Robb family.

Mr Robb's son, also called Geoffrey, was killed in January 2000 after being knocked down by a car.

"It is hard for my brother Macauley at the minute too," Victoria said.

"But we are a close family. I also have Annie. She keeps me smiling."

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