TRIBUTES have been paid to the ‘wonderful and heroic’ mother who died saving her daughter from the path of a lorry in Stratford.
Rachael Martin was dragged under the wheels of a reversing car transporter on Western Road, seconds after she had pushed her daughter – who is understood to have fallen from a scooter – out of the way of the 7.5tonne HGV.
The 29-year-old, of Elm Road, was walking her two daughters to the nearby Willows Primary School at 8.45am on Friday (May 20) when the tragedy happened.
Her five-year-old daughter suffered serious pelvic injuries and had to be airlifted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she is reported to be in a stable condition. The seven-year-old was not injured but received treatment for shock. The man driving the lorry was uninjured.
Shocked bystanders rushed to help and were praised for their efforts by paramedics, who sadly were unable to do anything to save the young mum who was pronounced dead at the scene.
A worker from the nearby Audi car dealership said: “It looks like the mum sacrificed herself for her little girl.
“There were dozens of police and paramedics. It’s an absolute horrible tragedy.”
After the crash family and friends took to social media to express their shock at losing their ‘hero.’
Friend Carla Dare wrote on Facebook: “I’ve been in complete utter shock by the tragic accident and sudden loss of a truly wonderful close friend of mine.
“Rachael you were a beautiful and amazing young lady who lived every moment for your gorgeous girls.
“Very few people know exactly what life has thrown at you over the past few years but you fought long and hard through many battles, never giving up, you were always so strong.
“I am so going to miss you my beautiful friend. RIP Angel.”
And relative Shane Martin wrote: “Rest In Peace Rachael Martin, you will be sorely missed.
“From me and all the family, another one taken too soon but you saved the little one from the HGV.
“Sleep tight, and may you be looking down on all of us and the little ones.”
Notes left on flowers at the scene also expressed the outpouring of grief felt throughout the community.
One read: “A strong, courageous young lady. You did friends and family proud. You were a great mum. Rest in peace.”
And The Willows Primary School, where the children are pupils, offered their condolences.
Manager Alison Staley said: “I was deeply saddened and shocked to hear about the incident on Western Road on Friday morning.
“We are working closely with the county council’s Education Psychology Service to support the whole school community and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of all of those involved.”
Investigations into the tragedy are continuing and anyone with information is asked to call Warwickshire Police on 101.