A chef killed in a tragic accident on a Yorkshire motorway had only taken a taxi that night as he worked late and missed the last train, his devastated brother revealed.
Simon McHugh, 48, died in the crash on the M606 on Monday night after he and the taxi driver’s car were hit by a 15-year-old driving a stolen Ford Transit van which police were monitoring. Simon had worked at Jurys Inn, Bradford for the past three years and was on his way back to his mother’s house in Lindley, where she was waiting for him. Yorkshire Live Reports.
Simon’s brother, Alastair McHugh, 52, said: “He was supposed to be coming home by train, he would normally always use public transport but he left later and my mother Gillian (a widow) was waiting for him.
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He said Gillian, who is in her 70s, tried to call him but got no answer so she went to bed at 12.45am. The crash happened at 10:45 p.m. Monday and 2:20 a.m. Tuesday. West Yorkshire police officers came to her home and broke the devastating news.
She was later comforted by a relative. Alastair said: “My mum didn’t want to tell me straight away what had happened so my son James, who was about to board a plane to Mallorca, told me at 5.50am on Tuesday.
“Simon was the gentlest, kindest and most wonderful person in the world. He would do anything for anyone. He would have been back in Huddersfield if he had gotten on the train.
“He had lived in Bradford and had only recently returned to Huddersfield and the family home we grew up in. He loved cooking, which was his thing, and once worked for well-known Huddersfield hoteliers Johnnie Marsden and his brother Joe.
“He knew the entire cast of Last of the Summer Wine while working at the Palace Bar, part of the Huddersfield Hotel. On one occasion, Thora Hird, who was on the show for years, ate her breakfast and asked if he had made the eggs. He asked why and she said, ‘Because this looks like a broken testicle!’ and of course they both thought it was very funny.
“Cooking was his passion in life, he didn’t really have any other hobbies except loving Abba. I love Huddersfield Town and legendary goalkeeper Alan Starling’s wife Gill is my cousin but Simon wasn’t interested.
“And what upsets me so much is that his death really didn’t have to have happened. And I want to express my sincere condolences to the family of the taxi driver because just like my brother, they were just doing their job. My brother had done his job and this gentleman was doing his. Simon is too young to have left. It’s all so unnecessary.”
The incident was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) as a police car was near the accident. The 15-year-old driver has now been arrested on suspicion of killing by dangerous driving. He remains hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.