Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Pc daughter's message of thanks

Pc Bill Barker
Pc Barker had been with the Cumbria force for 25 years

The daughter of a police officer killed when a bridge collapsed has written a poignant letter of thanks for the support her family has received.

Pc Bill Barker, 44, was directing motorists off the bridge in Workington, Cumbria, when it caved in on 20 November following heavy rainfall.

His body was later found on a beach 10 miles away.

Seven-year-old Emma wrote in a letter: "I have about 500 cards and all of them make me feel better.

Following Pc Barker's death, the prime minister described him as a "heroic, very brave man who died trying to save the lives of others".

Witnesses said the father-of-four had gone to the aid of a car on the bridge when it collapsed.

During the floods, which followed record rainfall, parts of Cumbria were devastated, with bridges destroyed, roads damaged, and hundreds of people forced from their homes.

Pc Barker, from Egremont, had been an officer with the Cumbria force for 25 years. He would have celebrated his 45th birthday last Saturday.

Fellow officers and senior politicians, also added their tributes to the veteran officer.

Collapsed bridge in Workington
The bridge carried the A597 over the River Derwent

Emma's letter read: "Thank you everyone for giving cards to me and my family and supporting us by giving us flowers, hugs and kisses.

"It has been a disaster over the last few days for my family and me, and people have been making dinner for our family.

"The nice people have been coming to see my mum and all our family as well as my Gran.

"My dog, Sam, went over to my dad's shoes and smelt them, then lay down beside them.

"I have about 500 cards and all of them make me better.

"Eleven people have come today as they love my family and before I go, thank you for the cards.

"Love from Emma."

Pc Barker's funeral is being held on Friday.

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