Authorities say a 40-year-old off-duty soldier, Emma Beeney, in Etchingham, East Sussex, located in England, was crushed to death by a metal generator after it fell from the back of a truck.
According to the Daily Mail, in the early hours of Sunday, August 7, Beeney was walking with her 44-year-old husband, Robert — who is a former Army chef — to the train station along with their dog.
As the soldier and her husband were walking by a church, she was suddenly crushed to death by a generator after it fell from the back of a truck as it drove by.
When emergency responders arrived at the scene, they discovered the generator on the ground and the soldier dead at the scene, while her husband, who sustained severe head injuries in the accident, was airlifted to the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton.
Two pedestrians in serious condition after generator falls off truck in Etchingham - live updates https://t.co/QBCLt8bTKl— KentSussexCourier (@KSCourier) August 8, 2016
Rob is in listed stable condition.
Witness Paul Hunt said another man, who was walking near the couple, would have been struck by the generator as well if he hadn’t “jump over a wall to avoid being hit.”
The name of the 42-year-old driver from Ashford, Kent, whose generator crushed an off-duty soldier to death, has not been released, but according to the Mirror, he has been arrested.
A local business owner, Paul Collins, 48, stated that the soldier and her husband “were a big part of the community. They cooked all the food at the summer fete.”
“They did a barbecue during the day and a curry at night. They were massive participants in everything that the village does. They are amazing people.”
Collins went on to say that “everyone is in real shock. She was walking with him to work, they were going to the train together with their dog – a cocker spaniel. It shouldn’t have happened.”
Witnesses say they rushed to the soldier’s aide after the metal generator fell on her, performing CPR until paramedics arrived but it was to no avail.
Afterward, the victim’s family left a card that read: “For our precious and beautiful Emma – all our love from Rob, Mom, and Dad, Mike, Sharon and David and all the family. In our hearts forever.”
After learning the soldier was killed by a portable generator, Beeney’s colleagues at 5 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers released a statement, which stated as follows: “Beeney was an exemplary Warrant Officer who excelled in everything she did.”
“She was a determined, focused and competitive individual whether on the sports field or working in Battalion HQ. She led by example and additionally assumed the role as the Adjutant General’s Corps Detachment Commander, focusing on the career management of Staff and Personnel Support soldiers within the Battalion.”
“Professionally at the very pinnacle of her trade as a Regimental Administrative Warrant Officer her future lay far beyond this,” the statement continued. She “was studying for her Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification and her next assignment would have seen her employed within the Army Management Accountancy Services community.”
The chairman of Etchingham Parish Council, John Barnes, stated that “The village is reeling from the shock. The sheer bad luck of it strikes one. It does seem to be appallingly bad luck.”
“It’s such a tragedy because she was so young. One feels for her husband and stepchildren.”
“They are quite well-known in the village – particularly in the main village – and the roads off it,” Barnes continued.
“It’s a small village and everybody knows one another. There are only around 1,000 people living here, 650 of those adults, so it could have been any one of them who it happened to. It could have been me.”
“They were an extremely happy family and very nice people. They will be absolutely grief-stricken,” he added.
A woman who was killed by a generator falling from a lorry in Etchingham, East Sussex, has been named as Emma Beeney https://t.co/JdS9o7FFeu— delcrookes (@hairydel) August 9, 2016
The driver of the truck has since been released from jail after posting bail, but an investigation continues.
[Image via iStock Photo]