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Teacher crushed to death under tree

PUBLISHED: 14:19 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 17:22 25 August 2010

TRAGEDY: Flowers mark the spot where Pam Davey died.

TRAGEDY: Flowers mark the spot where Pam Davey died.

A RESPECTED teacher and former netball coach died in a freak accident when a tree snapped and fell on her in high winds. Pam Davey was walking her dog on a public footpath next to Barnehurst Golf Course at 2pm last Saturday when she was crushed to death

A RESPECTED teacher and former netball coach died in a freak accident when a tree snapped and fell on her in high winds.

Pam Davey was walking her dog on a public footpath next to Barnehurst Golf Course at 2pm last Saturday when she was crushed to death by the 60ft poplar tree.

Her family were alerted to the tragedy when her eight-month old labrador Brody made its way back to her family home in Manor Way.

Her daughter Alison, 21, knowing something was seriously wrong called her father Les who went to the golf course where Mrs Davey regularly walked the dog.

Moments before he arrived, walkers along the path had discovered the 53-year-old and called paramedics. Staff at the golf club, who had closed the course down an hour earlier due to strong winds, were also alerted.

Receptionist Rose Marie said: "Her husband came in and he didn't know what had happened. A member of staff took him to the scene in one of the golf carts to where she was lying. It was awful. A member of the public had found her underneath the tree.

"What a terrible thing to happen. It must be a 20 million-to-one chance of something like that happening."

Family friend Tina Blizzard, who has known Mrs Davey for 15 years, and worked with her at North West Kent College where she was a Maths and English teacher, said: "Pam was a fantastic person. She put everybody else first and was always extremely passionate about her job and wanted the best for her students, whether they were at college or at the netball team. Her family was everything to her and she has left a massive hole in their lives."

Flowers were laid at the scene bearing messages of sympathy for a community figure liked by so many.

One poignant message from her daughters Alison and Lauren reads: "We can't believe this has happened to our mum. It's not fair. We will love you forever and ever. You were the best a mum could ever be and you will never leave our thoughts."

Mrs Davey was a former coach and umpire for Crayford Arrows netball team about five years ago and had helped build up four teams of up to 50 girls.

She knew many parents and their children in the area through her dedication to the sport over the years.

Chris Rust, chairman of the Crayford Arrows Sports Club, said: "She was instrumental in setting up a junior netball team at the club and put in many hours of voluntary work. She was well respected for her netball knowledge and helped build it up from nothing to running a successful section of four teams."

Leigh Burnham's daughter Carly, 25, was coached by Mrs Davey. The 48-year-old mum, of Manor Road said: "We are in shock, my daughter was very upset, it's an awful accident. The poor woman has gone to take her dog for a walk and hasn't come back.

"She was very popular and knew a lot of children down the years through her netball coaching."

A Police spokeswoman confirmed that Mrs Davey was found dead at the scene. The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and an inquest date is to be set.

Workers at the Bexley council run golf course laid a wreath and a message of condolence.

A spokesman for the council said: "London Borough of Bexley and Mytime Active wish to offer their sympathy to the family and friends of the local resident who died as a result of the tragic accident."

On a day of strong gales and heavy rain the council attended 26 incidents related to fallen trees and 23 reports of flooding.

Mrs Davey's funeral will take place at 12.30pm on December 10 at Eltham

crematorium.

martin.sawden@archant.co.uk

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