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13 September 2011, 14:32
An ambulance driver from County Durham killed when a tree fell on his vehicle during strong winds from Hurricane Katia has been described as 'selfless and loyal.'
Volunteer 68 year old George Brown, from High Etherley, County Durham, was killed on the A688 between Staindrop and Bishop Auckland during gusts of 80mph.
He was driving to collect patients on behalf of Butterwick Hospice in Bishop Auckland when the tree fell on to the ambulance.
Passenger 68 year old Peter Foster, from Crook, County Durham, also a volunteer driver, suffered non life-threatening injuries and was being treated at Darlington Memorial Hospital.
Hospice bosses paid tribute to Mr Brown, who leaves a wife, Mary, a son, a daughter and three grandchildren.
Graham Leggatt-Chidgey, chief executive of the Butterwick, said in a statement:
'We have lost a selfless and loyal member of our team at the Butterwick and his family has lost a husband, father and grandfather.
'George has been a volunteer driver since 1999 and was greatly respected by everyone who knew him. There is a deep sense of shock throughout the hospice team at this awful loss.
'We send his wife, Mary, and his family our deepest sympathy and our prayers and will support them in any way we can.'