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Croydon Tram Crash Victims: New Father Mark Smith Is Third Fatality Named

There were seven fatalities.

11/11/2016 09:08 | Updated 11 November 2016

More victims of the Croydon tram crash have been identified, including a new father who was set to marry his girlfriend. 

Mark Smith has been named on social media as one of the six men killed when the two-carriage tram derailed on Wednesday morning. 

Smith, who had a baby son, was due to tie the knot with his fiancee Indre Novikovaite.

His cousin, Tom Smith, wrote on Facebook: “Still cannot believe this is true, the last couple of days have just felt like a nightmare that I’m gonna wake up from.

“Not only were you my cousin but literally my best friend. The thought that we are all never gonna see you or hear from you again makes me feel sick. We are all in bits and I just wish you could walk back into your home with that smile on your face and make everyone laugh.”

Dorota Rynkiewicz, a Polish-born mother-of-two, was also named as having been killed in the crash.

Simon Smith, the chief executive SSP UK where the 35-year-old worked, said he and his staff”offered our heartfelt condolences to her family and we are doing all we can to support them at this difficult time.”

Before her death was confirmed, her relatives told the Evening Standard they had not heard from her since the day of the crash.

Rynkiewicz, who moved to New Addington from Poland ten years ago, was on her daily commute to Euston when the tram derailed on Wednesday morning.

On Friday morning, 57-year-old grandfather Philip Seary was also named as one who lost his life in the accident.

“We lost one of the BEST!! The most kind, giving person we’ll ever have in our lives!! Rest in peace our friend and brother. Luv you to the stars,” posted one friend on Facebook.  

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Phil Seary has been named locally as one of the victims of the crash 
Facebook
19-year-old Dane Chinnery was also killed 

The teenager was on his way to work when he was killed.

Three of those killed have still not been named.

The driver of the tram has been questioned by police amid suggestions it failed to brake before taking a corner at speed. 

Investigators said the vehicle was travelling at a “significantly higher speed than is permitted” and are probing whether the driver may have fallen asleep.

More than 50 people were injured when the tram left tracks and flipped on its side as it travelled through Croydon, south London, during the morning rush hour on Wednesday.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The two-carriage tram derailed on Wednesday morning 

London mayor Sadiq Khan, who visited the scene on Wednesday, warned the death toll “may well increase”.

BTP said forensics teams are expected to stay at the crash site until Thursday evening at the earliest and identifying the dead may be a “complex and lengthy process”.

The tram was operating from New Addington to Wimbledon via Croydon when the accident happened at 6.10am.

Scenes in the wake of the crash were described as “total carnage” and “like something out of a film” after the two-carriage tram tipped over in heavy rain next to an underpass.

Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Six men and one woman were killed 

Survivors rescued from the wreckage said they recalled the tram failing to brake in its usual place at a bend on the track after speeding up. One said the driver told them he thought he had “blacked out”.

Royal Navy veteran Kevin Snow, 57, was on his way to work in central London when the busy service overturned.

The father-of-seven from Barnsley, south Yorkshire, said the service, which he had been using regularly while working in London, failed to slow down at its usual point coming out of a tunnel between the Lloyd Park and Sandilands stops.

He told the Press Association: “Usually as you come out the tunnel you feel the brakes, but I didn’t seem to at all. I thought, he should be braking in a minute.

Catherine Wylie/PA Wire
Martin Bamford, 30, stands outside Croydon University Hospital where he is being treated for fractured or broken ribs

“The next thing I knew we were on our side. Everyone was screaming and shouting, a lot of people were injured - lots couldn’t move.”

He said the tram slid for between eight and 10 seconds before coming to a halt.

Martin Bamford, 30, from Croydon, said he recalled the tram “speeding up”, adding: “Everyone just literally went flying.”

Speaking outside Croydon University Hospital, where he is being treated for fractured or broken ribs, he said people were screaming and there was “blood everywhere”, describing the scene as “like something out of a film”.

Asked what he had seen he added: “There was a woman that was on top of me ... I don’t think she made it at all. She wasn’t responsive. There was blood everywhere.”

Any friends or family who are concerned about loved ones are asked to phone British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40

Asked about the driver, he said: “I asked him if he was okay. He said ‘yeah’. I said to him ‘what happened?’ He said he thinks he blacked out.”

The 42-year-old man, from Beckenham, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and taken into custody for questioning. He was released on police bail until May on Thursday morning. 

The tragedy is being probed by BTP and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).

BTP assistant chief constable Robin Smith said they were investigating whether the driver of the Wimbledon-bound tram fell asleep at the wheel, alongside “a number of factors”.

Initial findings of the RAIB show that the tram came off the tracks as it was negotiating a “sharp, left-hand curve” with a speed limit of 12mph.

An RAIB spokesman said: “Initial indications suggest that the tram was travelling at a significantly higher speed than is permitted.” 

The Croydon derailment is the biggest loss of life on the British tram system since 1917, when a tram running down a hill in Dover killed 11.

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