Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

OUR HEARTACHE; Family Devastated by Triple Tragedy

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

OUR HEARTACHE; Family Devastated by Triple Tragedy

Article excerpt

Byline: By HELEN RAE

REELING from the loss of murdered Samantha Madgin, her family have been rocked by two more tragedies.

Choking back tears, Samantha's grandmother Eileen Campbell told of her heartache after losing three loved ones within two weeks.

Just 12 days after 18-year-old Samantha was knifed to death, her uncle and Mrs Campbell's son Gary Madgin died in a crash.

As revealed in last night's Chronicle, the 41-year-old family man had been driving home to comfort his mum following the news his uncle Bob Higginson, 73, of North Shields, had died while at his grandaughter's wedding in Canada.

From the family business, The Dorset Arms Hotel, in Wallsend, and surrounded by hundreds of sympathy cards, Mrs Campbell, said: "I'm just so shocked three members of my family have died in a matter of weeks. It's absolutely devastating and we are all in total disbelief."

Dad-of-three Gary, of Burn Avenue, Forest Hall, lost control of his Ford Transit and hit a central reservation on the A19 at 8.30pm on Monday.

Mrs Campbell said: "Gary was with a friend at a caravan site in Bamburgh when he heard the news my brother had died in Canada.

"As I was upset, he decided to drive back to comfort me and that's when the accident happened. He wanted to support me as he was that kind a man.

"I can't believe he's gone and I feel totally numb. Gary was such a kind person and was extremely family-orientated. He loved us all and we were all very close. He was good fun and had so many friends."

The 59-year-old mental healthcare worker said the news had torn her son Stan Madgin, 42, apart as he is having to plan his daughter Samantha's funeral while coming to terms with his brother's death.

Samantha was killed on August 2, her first night out since her son, Callum, was born. She was confronted in a back-lane disturbance involving two groups after she had gone to Albert Avenue, Wallsend, with friends.

Callum is now being brought up by Samantha's mum, Alison, with help from Stan and the baby's father, Stephen McKenzie.

"This should not be happening," said Eileen. "It's difficult enough for Stan to plan Samantha's funeral as well as having to come to terms with this. …

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