Young couple killed by lorry load of falling timber

February 9, 2011 | by | 0 Comments

A young couple were killed in a freak accident when a lorry load of roof joists fell on them as they walked home from dropping their toddler at nursery.

Young couple killed by falling timber from lorry

Tragic Thomas Matts, 29, and his fiancée Terri-Ann Barnett, 24, were walking along the pavement when the timber toppled from a passing lorry.

It is believed the huge A-frames – used to build house roofs – struck a low bridge and were ripped from their securings.

The tragedy happened in Hereford at 10.30am on Monday morning, just minutes after leaving their 18-month-old son Morgan, who is now an orphan.

Thomas was rushed to Hereford County Hospital but pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Terri-Ann was airlifted to a specialist head trauma unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham but died on Tuesday night.

The driver of the lorry was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and was released on bail.

Yesterday Terri’s devastated parents Ralph and Diana Barnett paid tribute to the ”outstanding mother” who was looking forward to marrying Thomas next year.

Ralph said: ”Terri used to be a real party girl in her day and had lots of friends in Hereford.

”Since Morgan was born she had become an outstanding mother. She and Tom were both besotted with Morgan and were devoted to him.

”They were lovely parents and were planning on getting married next year.

”We would like to thank all those people who tried to help Terri and Tom – from the emergency services and hospital staff to the passers-by who came to their aid.”

The young couple had recently got engaged on Christmas Day.

Thomas popped the question to Terri as they watched Morgan open his presents on December 25 last year.

She immediately said yes and they were set to tie the knot in the summer of 2012.

Young couple killed by falling timber from lorry

Terri, who worked for Shoe Zone in the city, leaves behind two brothers and a sister.

Unemployed Thomas, whose both parents are dead, had five brothers and was described by them as ”fun-loving” and a ”doting father”.

His eldest brother Mark Matts said: ”We are all in complete shock: this is a tragedy that has left their son as an orphan.

”Tom was a loving brother and friend who will be sadly missed. He was fun-loving, easy-going and a doting father – he will be seriously missed by everybody.”

Friends of the pair yesterday (Wed) took to social networking site Facebook to pay tributes on a page titled: ‘R.I.P Terri and Tom’.

Pal Lisa Browne wrote: ”Such a tragic accident that has touched the lives of so many people throughout Herefordshire and beyond.

”Thoughts go out to Little Morgan who has two extra special angels to watch over him, and to the rest of your families who must feel like they are caught in the most awful nightmare.”

Stacey Miller said she was Terri’s step sister and paid tribute to the tragic pair.

She wrote: ”to terri my step sister, such a bad thing has happend to you and you didnt deserve it.

”Tom- you were such a bubbly man who knew how to make people laugh, a great daddy and wil also be missed very much.”

A spokesman for West Mercia Police confirmed the driver of the lorry had been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and was released on bail.

Insp Jim McLaughlin said: ”We have arrested the driver involved, which is routine in this sort of fatal collision.

”Two young people have lost their lives and it has had a major impact on our local community.”

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