Our Angels Were Taken Away but We'll Never Forget Them; DADS OF TRAGIC RAILWAY GIRLS ARE UNITED IN GRIEF OVER DAUGHTERS' HORRIFIC DEATHS

The Mirror (London, England), July 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

Our Angels Were Taken Away but We'll Never Forget Them; DADS OF TRAGIC RAILWAY GIRLS ARE UNITED IN GRIEF OVER DAUGHTERS' HORRIFIC DEATHS


Byline: DON MACKAY

TWO fathers told how they hugged each other in grief last night over the death of their railway children daughters, wiped out on a train track.

Tony Allcock and Peter George are almost inseparable as they try to get over the tragedy of the deaths of their two blonde-haired, blue-eyed angels, hit by a speeding train as they played on a rail bridge last summer.

The pair find comfort in each other over the deaths of eight-year-old Kymberley and Sophie, seven.

Both their daughters were snatched from them last summer during what should have been a fun day out in the Welsh countryside near Aberystwyth.

Instead it left lives even more ruined on top of a tale of broken marriages and divorces.

Tony had allowed daughter Kymberley to go on a spur-of-the-moment picnic with chum Sophie on a hot summer's day last July.

The two girls were close pals and went to the same school.

The outing had been put together by Sophie's mum Amanda and new husband, Gareth Edwards.

Along with them were brothers Matthew Allcock and Christopher George.

But as Amanda and new spouse Edwards sat on a rail embankment at the Dyfi Estuary beauty spot near Borth, the four youngsters were tragically allowed to play beside the tracks on a railway bridge.

The two girls died as they were hit by a sprinter train travelling at 60mph across a wooden-slatted bridge over a stream.

"It is a day that will haunt me forever," said Tony. "Matthew came running in and said Amanda and Gareth were taking Sophie and Christopher on the picnic and could they all go.

"Of course I agreed. Now I know it is the worst decision I have ever made. I will never see Kymberley again."

As arthritis-ridden Tony, who can barely walk without the aid of crutches, pottered about his house with new wife Bree, he had no idea of the tragedy that was set to rob of him of his daughter.

Fellow dad Peter George was at work in a shop in Aberystwyth - totally unaware of the disaster which was to rob him of daughter Sophie.

In a cruel twist he had lost custody of his daughter three years or so before. He had last seen her the previous Christmas, although she was always on his mind.

But he found out he would never see his little girl again when a woman police officer walked down the path to his house to break the tragic news.

Sophie and pal Kymberley had died as they played dropping stones through the wooden slats of the bridge.

"I know I hadn't seen her for some time, but I had lost custody of her when her mother and I divorced. I wasn't happy about that, but there was nothing I could do about the court ruling," said Peter.

"But she was always with me every day in my thoughts and I was just planning to try to arrange to see her when this awful thing happened."

As both fathers spoke, Sophie's mum Amanda and new husband Gareth - who have since split up - sat waiting on a jury returning a verdict on charges of manslaughter of the two girls through negligence by letting them play on the rail lines.

The two grieving dads had never met before, but got together to try to ease each other's pain over the deaths. Said Tony: "I had become very vocal about trying to find out the truth of what really happened that day to rob me of my little girl. …

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