Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Family's Warning after Bus Tragedy; Veteran Died Two Weeks after Accident

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Family's Warning after Bus Tragedy; Veteran Died Two Weeks after Accident

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Mullen

ABEREAVED family have called for a city centre safety review after a Falklands veteran was killed by a bus.

Martin Devine served in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Coventry, which was sunk by the Argentine air force during the 1982 conflict.

He died when he stepped in front of a bus on Blackett St, Newcastle.

It was at first thought 52-year-old Mr Devine had escaped serious injury. But checks later revealed the former seaman, of Blaydon, Gateshead, had suffered a serious head injury and his condition rapidly deteriorated.

He died on November 12, nearly two weeks after the accident, having never fully regained consciousness following an operation to treat a brain haemorrhage.

His wife, Lyn, and children Steven, 15, and Sarah, 12, were at his bedside after making the decision to stop his life support.

Mrs Devine paid tribute to her husband and appealed for others to take care on the road, where shoppers mingle close to busy traffic near Greys Monument.

The mother-of-two told of Mr Devine's "wicked" sense of humour, his love for his children and passion for the Navy in a career lasting 16 years.

Mrs Devine, who met her husband when she was in the Navy Reserves, said: "Those who survived HMS Coventry carry mental scars from what happened, but he actually learned to deal with it extremely well.

"He found humour in everything. Everyone who knew him would have a little story to tell about him. We were with him right at the end and could speak to him. He was comfortable and was able to go peacefully." Tuesday's inquest heard how Mr Devine had stepped on to Blackett St between two stationary busses - and into the path of a third bus travelling in the opposite direction.

PC Michael Lowry, a Northumbria Police collision investigator, said there was nothing bus driver Paul Davis could've done to prevent the accident, which occurred "in a matter of moments."

The bus was travelling well within the speed limit and Mr Davis did attempt to swerve, but to no avail.

Newcastle Coroner David Mitford recorded a verdict of accidental death, and the Devine family made peace with bus driver Mr Davis, who attended the inquest and had cooperated with the investigation at every stage. …

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