herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Mum killed in storm

This is the devoted Dublin mum who was tragically killed by a falling tree.

Mother-of-three Linda Collins, who was due to celebrate her 46th birthday today, died in the freak accident on Waterloo Road.

The ESB employee was making the short trip to her Blackrock home when a large section of a mature tree snapped in near gale-force winds and pinned her to the ground.

Despite the frantic efforts of witnesses and the emergency services, Linda -- a devoted mum to Georgia (14), Robert (13) and Juliana (7) -- was pronounced dead at St Vincent's Hospital.

Today, her devastated husband Richard paid tribute to his "brilliant" wife, describing her as a "giving and warm person".

“As a mother she was brilliant, she put in huge work with Juliana who was severely epileptic, having three or four fits a day. But, with all the work, she is great now and not fitting anymore,”

Richard said. “Lynda was a very giving person, she even gave up her work as a chartered accountant so that I could take my career forward,” he added. Robert explained how he was in work yesterday evening when he got a call from gardai saying Lynda had been in a serious accident and they needed to get him to Vincent's Hospital as quickly as possible.

“They sent a car out for me, and told me on the way that a tree had fallen on Waterloo Road, and when I got to the hospital they took me into a room and told me Lynda hadn't made it,” Robert explained. “It's just one of those freak accidents.” “She was a very giving person, and everyone knew her around here.”

Lynda worked in the ESB offices on Fitzwilliam Street, like her father and grandfather before her. “She had a huge interest in this house, and we have been renovating it for years now, but she was very creative and made a lot of the decisions for it,”

Richard, financial director with Superquinn, explained. “She was a really outgoing and warm person, and a great mixer, whereas I'm the opposite. I knew the day I met her I wanted to marry her,” he said. Richard described how the pair met and instantly fell for each other.

“We both worked for KPMG, that's where we met, and we were married within two years. We lived in different places. I'm from Sutton and Lynda was from Ranelagh, and we lived in the UK for a while, but then settled back here.

“Lynda loved gardening, and although she never blew her own trumpet she was a great sportswoman. She did a 100- mile charity cycle for the Willow Wheelers in Robert’s Willow Park school to raise funds for Africa, and in college she did a lot of work for St Vincent de Paul.”

Eyewitnesses today described the horrific scene which occurred shortly after 5pm yesterday. Xtravision shopworker Jonathan Clarke said: “There were 50, if not 100, people there within seconds. They were trying to hold the tree ... they were trying to comfort her.” The accident happened shortly after 5pm last night when a large section of a mature tree outside the International School of Dublin was knocked by near gale-force winds.

Lynda had been crossing the road near the junction with Baggot Street when the tree was blown down. Mr Clarke said she seemed to have heard the tree snapping as she was walking across the road and tried to run. It pinned her face down on the road.

EXPLOSION

Mr Clarke heard the tree snap and within seconds “it sounded like an explosion” as it came crashing down. “I ran outside and people were starting to run away. There was a car that the tree had landed on that was trying to back away. Then they realised that somebody was actually under the tree.”

“Everybody came running from all over trying to hold the tree in place and comfort the girl. It was too big for anybody to move,” he said. Dublin Fire Brigade crews managed to get the tree off Lynda, while paramedics battled to save her. But she died shortly after arriving at St Vincent's Hospital.

The driver of a car managed to avoid the brunt of the impact and was not seriously injured.

hnews@herald.ie

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