Bereavement due to traumatic death

Road and railway deaths

Hearing the news that a friend or relative has been killed is deeply shocking (also see ‘Changing emotions and physical reactions'). Cynthia’s daughter was riding her bicycle when she was hit by a cement truck.

In 2015, 1,732 people died on the roads in Great Britain. Of those 755 were killed in a car crash, 365 killed when driving a motorbike and 100 killed when using a bicycle and 409 pedestrians were killed (see GOV.UK. - for Department of Transport statistics) Sarah’s husband, Russell, had been driving a bus when he was killed. The driver of another vehicle pulled out suddenly and caused the incident.

Pat’s son was killed on his motor bike. He was overtaking a line of cars. The driver of the car in front did not see Matthew before she turned right across the road.

Peter’s son, Tim, was killed in a car crash. He was in a friend's car. The friend was drunk, lost control and the car hit a tree. Tim died at the scene.

Some people were very angry and blamed others for the death of their friend or relative (see 'Changing emotions and physical reactions'). However, others were convinced that their child, partner, or other relative's death had been an accident and that no one else was to blame.

Car journeys are more dangerous than rail journeys, but one train crash can cause many deaths and injuries. Major train crashes in the UK include one at Potters Bar, on 10 May 2002. On that day seven people died when a train was derailed. Nina and her husband, Austen, were on the train. Austen was killed and she was seriously injured.

In July 1995 Godfrey’s son, Adrian, was seriously injured as he tried to board a train. The train was leaving the station as Adrian tried to open a door. He fell and hit his head, and was taken to the local teaching hospital, where he died in the intensive care unit.

Last reviewed May 2019. 
Last updated May 2019. 


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