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Memorial Plan For Crash Victims

West Yorkshire Police Federation has backed Wakefield Council’s plans to create a memorial on a roundabout where five off-duty officers lost their lives in a bus crash in Wakefield in 1978.

The incident, which claimed the lives of Sgt Elizabeth Burton and PCs David Bulleyment, Eric Renshaw, Colin Ross and Lillian Sullivan, took place when the coach carrying the officers to Blackpool for the PFEW conference experienced brake failure and overturned as a result.

West Yorkshire Police Federation Chairman Brian Booth said the Federation had been in talks with the local authority and believed a tribute to the officers was “a fantastic idea”, even though at this stage it might take some time to decide what form the memorial would take.

He said: “We’re fully supportive of it. We don’t know exactly what the design of it will look like at this stage but the Police Roll of Honour Trust is likely to be involved with that side of things.

“They’ve done projects like this before and if they have anything to do it with it, it will look very good.”

The crash, which is still considered the biggest loss of life of off-duty officers in policing history also led to an additional 23 people being injured.

The redevelopment of the Newton Bar roundabout will serve as a lasting tribute to the officers who sadly died.

Brian added: “It’s absolutely the right thing to do to remember them. It was a massive tragedy and it’s important we recognise the contribution of those officers to society.”

Date posted: September 5, 2019

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