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Three years after Hereford timber tragedy, loss still hurts says Mum
THREE years on, Diane Barnett still avoids the Belmont Road bridge where a timber, falling off a passing lorry, took the lives of her daughter and her daughter's fiancée.
Friday will mark the three-year anniversary of the tragedy that killed Terri-Ann Barnett and Tom Matts.
And yet for Terri-Ann’s mother, the loss remains as raw as ever.
“It’s been three years and I still can’t look at her photograph,” she said.
“I don’t go past the bridge – if I have to, I still can’t bring myself to look at the spot where it happened.
“It still tears me apart, every day.”
Diane takes care of Terri-Ann and Tom’s son Morgan, now four years old.
“We don’t hide anything from him – we show him pictures and he talks about mummy Terri and daddy Tom.
“He knows they were taken from him.
“We are trying our best, and he is thriving – he’s a bright, intelligent four-year-old – but he needs his mum and dad.
“At least they are together.”
While still struggling with the tragedy, Diane says she has a close family to lean on.
Her children Claire and Jack Sessarego still live nearby, and son Paul will return from London on Friday to set off lanterns with friends and family, either at the crematorium or at the bridge.
It was that bridge that caused the accident; a lorry, loaded high with timber, tried to pass under it and knocked its cargo off on to the passing couple, returning after dropping off Morgan at nursery.
The 49-year-old driver was later jailed for 12 months having admitted two charges of causing death by careless driving.
However three years on, the family are still waiting on legal proceedings brought against the driver’s employers, which they hope will help secure Morgan’s future.
It is a process Diane says she hope will soon be concluded, just another reminder of what happened to her “laughing, fun-loving” daughter and “gentle giant” fiancée.
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