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Thursday, 28 February, 2002, 13:49 GMT
Relatives remember Selby dead
John Shakespeare with his son Robert's widow Julie and their daughters Laura and Kerrie
The relatives stood in silence at the crash site
Survivors and relatives of the Selby train crash victims have met at the scene of the disaster to remember those who died.

About 25 people gathered at the Great Heck site in North Yorkshire on Thursday - exactly a year after the tragedy.

As the group stood close to the rail tracks, a passenger train and a freight train passed each other slowly at the scene, sounding their horns.

Ten men - six commuters and four railway staff - lost their lives in the disaster when a Land Rover plunged off the M62 and on to the East Coast mainline on 28 February 2001.

Mary Dunn
Mary Dunn left flowers on the track

Mary Dunn, the wife of freight train driver Stephen Dunn who was killed in the disaster, left a bouquet of flowers at the spot where her husband's locomotive crashed.

Others stood in silence for several minutes in a nearby field.

Several bouquets were tied to fencing close to the trackside and another was left on the road bridge overlooking the crash site by a local resident.

After the act of remembrance Mrs Dunn and Andy Hill, the surviving freight train driver, met on the bridge and embraced before rejoining the rest of the families.

Superintendent Nick Bracken, of British Transport Police, said: "The moment as the two trains passed brought back the reality of what happened last year.

'Poignant moment'

"I saw the faces of the people on the train looking out. The same kind of people on that train a year ago.

"It was quite clearly a very poignant moment for me and particularly for the families involved.

At 1100 GMT, about 250 survivors and relatives of those killed and injured in the tragedy gathered close to a garden of remembrance created near the scene of the crash for a service of dedication.

Gary Hart
Gary Hart was jailed for five years

Mr Hill unveiled a memorial plaque at the entrance to the garden while Greg Cooper, a local farm worker who was one of the first on the scene of the disaster, unveiled a plaque in the heart of the garden.

During the 15-minute service, conducted by railway chaplain the Reverend Miles Mitson, a minute's silence was observed which ended with the sounding of the Last Post.

During the service some members of the congregation bowed their heads while others wiped away tears.

Mr Mitson said: "We are here today, in the presence of God, to dedicate the garden to the memory of those 10 men whose lives were so unexpectedly taken from them in such cruel and tragic circumstances.

"With special thoughts for the bereaved, the injured, the survivors and all their families."

Gary Hart, 37, of Strubby, Lincolnshire, was convicted at Leeds Crown Court last year of 10 counts of causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed in January for five years.

He fell asleep at the wheel of his Land Rover causing it to leave the M62 and on to the railway line.

Candles lit

Moments later his Land Rover was hit by a southbound GNER express train travelling at 117 mph which then collided with a fully-laden coal train carrying 1,600 tonnes of coal.

At 1600 GMT, a memorial service is due to be held held at Selby Abbey.

Among those attending the hour-long service are the two senior detectives who led the investigation into the crash, Superintendent Nick Bracken of British Transport Police and Detective Superintendent Peter McKay of North Yorkshire Police.

During the service members of bereaved families will light 10 candles, one for each of the victims, and a poem will be read by Judith Cairncross, sister of Ray Robson, the conductor killed on the GNER express.

See also:

25 Feb 02 | England
Call to boost bridge safety
13 Dec 01 | England
GNER remembers Selby 'shockwave'
13 Dec 01 | UK
Selby crash driver guilty
13 Dec 01 | England
Loss of a child illness expert
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