Mum keeps vigil for her critically ill daughter

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RELATIVES of a father and daughter who were struck by an express train have told of their devastation following the tragedy.

Richard Straw, aged 28, from Bentley, was killed when a high speed train struck him on the East Coast Main Line on Monday afternoon.

His three-year-old daughter, named by neighbours as Scarlett, was critically injured and remains in Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Mr Straw’s parents last night issued a statement through British Transport Police.

They said: “We are devastated by the loss of our son Richard and remain gravely concerned for the welfare of our granddaughter, who is still in a critical condition in hospital.

“The family would like to thank everyone for their help and support. This is a very difficult, sad and distressing time for us all.

“Richard was much loved by his family and friends.”

Neighbours said Mr Straw’s partner, who they named as 25-year-old Samantha Roberts, has kept a constant vigil at the bedside of her daughter, as police try to discover why the pair were on the line, well away from any crossing point.

They described Mr Straw, who worked for furniture giants DFS, as a ‘loving dad’.

The couple had lived in their mid terrace home in Bentley for about five years.

One neighbour said: “I was absolutely shocked when I heard what had happened.

“They have lived here about five years. They are a lovely family and are always doing family things, going on bike rides together and for days out.

“They keep themselves to themselves and always seem happy together. I have no idea why this should have happened. It’s an awful tragedy, and I just hope Scarlett recovers.”

Another added: “They are very nice and always pass the time of day. They just seem to be a quiet family who enjoy being together.”