640 men were killed when the South African troop carrier was hit by a cargo ship in 1917.
Man Dies After Being Trapped Under A Van
Gerald Albert Webb, aged 82, from the Freshwater area, died after a collision with a white Ford Courier van at about 7pm on Friday, October 5.
The pensioner was pronounced dead at the scene after he was trapped under a white Ford Courier van.
It happened in Copse Lane and the road was closed to allow officers to carry out a full investigation.
Mr Webb’s family said:
“Family and friends were obviously devastated to learn that Gerry had died under such circumstances.
“Gerry served for many years in the RAF and subsequently as a primary school teacher until his retirement at the age of 70. He felt he had served his country and was proud of that.
“On retirement he moved to his beloved Isle of Wight, where he spent many peaceful years playing badminton and bowls.
“The last few years of his life were blighted by dementia, which progressed to such a state that he unfortunately required full time nursing care.
“We would like to pass on our gratitude and thanks to the police, fire service and ambulance staff who attended this tragic incident. Our thoughts are also with the driver involved during this difficult time.”
Investigating officers continue to appeal for witnesses to this incident. Sergeant Rob Heard of Hampshire Constabulary’s Road Death Investigation Team said:
“We are appealing to anyone who saw an elderly man walking in or near Copse Lane shortly before 7pm on Friday, October 5.
“Any information about this man’s movements prior to the collision is important. I am equally keen to be contacted by witnesses who saw a white Ford Courier van being driven in the Freshwater area around the same time.
“We have been making enquiries into reports of other motorists using Copse Lane at the time of the crash. I would urge these people to come forward and tell us what they saw.
"No other vehicles are believed to have been involved in the actual collision, but other motorists could prove to be crucial witnesses to the circumstances surrounding this death.”
A 75-year-old man from Freshwater, Isle of Wight, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and later bailed.
Witnesses or anyone with information should contact Hampshire Constabulary’s Road Death Investigation Team at Eastleigh Police Station by phoning 101 and quoting Operation Milldale.
The 79-year-old man suffered a serious head injury in the Cranmer Road car park in Winton.
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