HSE probes Preston Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School delivery van tragedy

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Health and Safety Executive officers are investigating the fatal accident in which a delivery driver to a Preston school was crushed by his van.

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School in Ribbleton was due to reopen again today after being closed for the past two days.

The scene of the incident

The scene of the incident

READ MORE: Online tributes paid to delivery driver who died following collision in Preston

The driver has been named as Paul O’Donnell, 56, from Preston. His family issued a tribute saying: “Paul was son to Joe and Joan and brother to Russ.

“He has been sadly taken from us in very tragic circumstances and we are all devastated.

“Paul enjoyed socialising with his friends and loved his job delivering to the local schools, especially when he was treated to a secret snack from the kitchens.”

Paul was delivering goods to the Farringdon Road school early on Tuesday when he became trapped between his refrigerated vehicle and a gatepost. He died as a result of his injuries.

Kelly Hannah, headteacher at Blessed Sacrament School, said: “We were devastated to hear about the death of our delivery driver in such tragic circumstances.

He has been delivering to the school for more than 10 years and staff are very shocked and saddened by what has happened.

“Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this very sad time.

“School will re-open on Thursday morning and we will be supporting staff and pupils who have been affected by this tragic accident.”

A neighbour said: “ I heard a heck of a crash early today.

READ MORE: Man crushed near Preston school dies

“Then when I was walking my dog I saw a van turned sideways and police, fire engines and an ambulance at the scene.

“No-one knew what was happening at the time. It looked like a delivery van - I think I have seen it before.”

Social media was awash with comments today.

Nicola Child said on Facebook: “Awful news. My heart with the family at this sad time.”

Emma Louise said: “He was a lovely man with a heart of gold”