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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

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Tributes pour in for four killed in crash

TRIBUTES have been paid to four people who all died in a horrific car crash at Moota on Saturday night.

Mother and daughter Agnes Patricia and Kathryn Graham died along with Agnes’s sister, Mary Kennedy, after their car was in collision with another vehicle driven by Andrew Jonathan Pattinson, who also died.

Agnes Patricia Graham, known as Tricia, aged 52, lived at Trumpet Road, Cleator Moor; her daughter Kathryn Graham, aged 22, lived at Penzance Street, Moor Row, and Mary Kennedy, 53, lived at Crossings Close, Cleator Moor. Andrew Pattinson, 23, lived at Jericho Road, Hensingham.

Members of the community where the two sisters lived were stunned at the “terrible’’ event.

Staff at a Whitehaven plant hire firm were devastated by the death of Kathryn Graham, their popular workmate who had been there for six years.

Kathryn was one of the customers first points of contact at Hewden plant hire on Meadow Road, Mirehouse, where she and her partner, Dean Stewart, met and fell in love.

Kathryn was hire controller for the firm and Dean is employed there as a fitter.

The couple shared a home on Penzance Street in Moor Row.

Dean has been left broken-hearted by the tragedy which has lost him the girlfriend who was said to be the life and soul of the office at Hewden.

Office manager and friend Michelle Dixon told The Whitehaven News that everybody had been left devastated.

“Kathryn was such a lovely girl with a wonderful personality. She was so bubbly that if anyone else was feeling down or in a bad mood she would always try to cheer you up by the sheer force of her personality.

“She was also very popular with the customers because in her job she was the one who sorted out their plant hire requirements.

“We are going to miss her so much and our hearts go out to Kathryn’s family, also to Dean and his family.”

Michelle said Kathryn had driven to Newcastle after buying tickets to see the show Dancing on Ice as a birthday treat for her mother.

Kathryn is a former pupil at Ehenside School, Cleator Moor.

A spokesperson said the school was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the tragedy.

“She was a really pleasant, hard-working and very popular as well as reliable student. Kathryn was a pleasure to teach and the staff remaining at the school who knew her have very fond memories,” said the school.

This is the second tragedy for the family following the death in July 2006 of Miss Kennedy and Mrs Graham’s brother, Thomas, who was killed after falling off his mountain bike on Cold Fell.

It is believed Miss Kennedy and Mrs Graham were the cousins of local opera singer, Joan Rodgers.

Miss Kennedy, who lived with her sister, Ann, at Crossings Close, worked at the Brannan thermometer and gauge factory on the Leconfield Industrial Estate, where staff were said to be very upset at the news.

A friend said Miss Kennedy was “a lovely woman’’ and stated the family was very close.

Andrew Pattinson was a former Whitehaven School pupil and had a baby daughter, Leona.

He was a long-standing member of Hensingham ARLFC. Neil McAvoy, rugby secretary at the club, paid tribute to Andrew, who had played for Hensingham since he was a child.

Known as Patty or Patch, “because of a piece of hair missing’’, he said Andrew was a “true character’’ who played in the position of hooker throughout his club career.

“He played in every age group from the U8s through to the U18s and then into the open age scene,’’ Neil said.

“His amateur career spanned 14 years and in this time he represented the Cumbria Knights U11s in a curtain raiser to the Wembley Cup Final in 1997.

“Andrew also represented Copeland in the service area trials at U16s level.’’

Neil said after breaking into Hensingham’s first team, “Andrew regularly donned the Number nine shirt.

“Patty was a keen, very good golfer, but fortunately for Hensingham it came second best to the game of rugby league,’’ Neil added.

The women were on their way home from Newcastle in a red Ford Fiesta, driven by Miss Graham, when it was in collision with a Vauxhall Astra driven by Mr Pattinson, which subsequently burst into flames.

Claire Edwards, 21, of Lowca, who was in the front passenger seat of the Fiesta and is believed to be the cousin of Kathryn Graham, suffered serious injuries and was described yesterday (Wednesday) as being in a ‘critical but stable’ condition at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the crash which happened just before 8pm. They should contact them on 0845 33 00 247.

In particular, they are keen to speak to anyone who saw the blue Vauxhall Astra being driven between Whitehaven and Moota before the collision between 7.30pm and 8pm.

The bodies of the three family members were formally identified by their brother and uncle, William Martin Kennedy, at the West Cumberland Hospital. Mr Pattinson was identified by dentist Kenneth Archer, using dental records.

Two occupants of another car involved in the crash – a gold Chrysler Neon – managed to escape from their burning vehicle with minor injuries. They were treated at the West Cumberland Hospital.

Describing the scene at Moota, Insp Paul Kissack said: “When we got there it was a scene of devastation.

“There were three cars involved, two of which were on fire. Debris was showing in all directions. It was horrendous.’’

Station officer Dave McDonald, of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “There were a number of vehicles involved, two of which were on fire. We used hose reels to put the fire out. The second crew used cutting gear to release the casualties.’’

An inquest on the four deceased was opened and adjourned to a date to be fixed by David Roberts, the deputy coroner for North and West Cumbria.

Mr Pattinson’s funeral will take place on Tuesday, April 22, with the service being held at St John’s church, Hensingham at 1.45pm. Funerals for the Graham and Kennedy families were still being arranged yesterday.

Add your tributes online...

Kathryn Graham

Agnes Graham

Mary Kennedy

Andrew Pattinson



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