Belfast Telegraph

Lisburn bus death: She had a heart of gold... tributes paid to bus tragedy mum-of-four killed at depot

By Chris Kilpatrick

A mother-of-four killed when she was struck by a bus as she waited at a depot has been described as having a "heart of gold".

Linda Stewart (48) died after an Ulsterbus mounted a kerb and hit a wall at the bus station in Lisburn's Smithfield Street.

Investigations are being carried out by police and Translink into the Christmas holiday tragedy.

Ms Stewart's mother Iris was too distressed to speak about her loss at her Dungannon home yesterday afternoon.

Neighbours of Ms Stewart, who lived at Ashlea Place in Lisburn, described her as quiet and friendly.

One said he last saw her on Christmas Eve.

"She was a lovely woman, very hard-working," the man, who asked not to be named, said. "She worked at a couple of local schools.

"Linda came to my door before Christmas and asked to borrow a kettle as hers wasn't working.

"I gave her a spare one I had and she came over on Christmas Eve to give me a present and have a cup of coffee."

An elderly resident in the small block of flats said Ms Stewart often enquired if she needed anything brought to her.

"I keep expecting her to knock my door," she added. "She was a great neighbour. I'll miss her, she had a heart of gold."

Lagan Valley DUP MLA Jonathan Craig said people were numbed by the tragedy, which happened on Monday morning.

"It's absolutely devastating for the family and it has left many shocked by these events," he said.

"Many people who saw this have been left deeply traumatised, as have the driver of the vehicle and the staff at the station.

"We'll have to leave this to the PSNI, Translink and Health and Safety Executive to establish exactly what happened, why it has happened, and importantly what steps can be taken to ensure nothing like this happens again."

Translink extended their condolences to Ms Stewart's family.

Shortly after the incident, eyewitness Jo-Anna McLucas told how she usually stood in the area where Ms Stewart was struck.

"I was not standing there because it was cold, I was sitting inside," she said.

"I was looking at the phone and then I heard the bang of the bus hitting the wall and I looked up to see what happened.

"I could see the driver obviously looked very upset, like something terrible had happened."

Police yesterday appealed for witnesses to contact them.

Factfile

Linda Stewart was killed after being struck by a bus at Lisburn's Ulsterbus depot.

She was 48 and had lived at Ashlea Place in Lisburn. Ms Stewart, whose maiden name was Rooney, was a mother-of-four. The fatal collision happened on Monday at around 10.15am. Police are continuing to appeal for any witnesses to contact them. Translink is also investigating the circumstances of the tragedy.

Lisburn mayor Andrew Ewing said there was a "deep sense of loss" in the area.

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