Great Britain

Great Heck widow Mary Dunn speaks out about tired driving

The widow of one of the drivers in the Great Heck train crash has spoken out against tired driving on the 20th anniversary of the disaster.

Ten people died when a Land Rover driven by Gary Hart came off the M62 and derailed a Newcastle to London train on February 28, 2001, near the small village south of Selby.

He was later convicted of causing their deaths by dangerous driving on the grounds he was too tired to be behind the wheel.

Speaking at the first of two memorial events today, Mary Dunn said: "The events that unfolded at Great Heck will not, cannot, and should not be forgotten."

Her husband, Steve Dunn, drove the Freightliner coal train that the GNER train collided with.

Mrs Dunn said: "What I am really sad about, and I believe Steve would be too, is the attitude to tired driving.

"I really hoped that would change as a result of Great Heck. Alas it hasn't."

She said statistics about the involvement of tired drivers in crashes showed that attitudes had not changed, though it could not be proved.

She is, and her husband was, an advanced driver.

Earlier she had spoken about the day of the crash as it affected her and the couple's two sons Andrew and James.

"We went to bed as a normal family that Shrove Tuesday. We woke up to our world having been devastated," she said.

The crash happened shortly after 6am.

She thanked the many people and organisations who had supported her and her family as they have rebuilt their lives since the crash.

"That day can never be left behind," she said. "Those of us who lived through it can never forget."

Her words were applauded by several of those listening and watching the joint ceremony at the Great Heck memorial garden and Newcastle Railway Station via YouTube.

They included bereaved families, those who had assisted them and members of the railway community.

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