Mother of Tower Bridge bus tragedy victim: 'I've lost my angel'

Emily Diamond

Emily Diamond was described as bubbly and 'the life and soul of the party'

The mother of a young woman killed by a tree ripped from the ground by a bus in a freak accident near Tower Bridge has spoken about losing her "angel".

As heart-rending tributes poured in for Emily Diamond, 23, her family told of their grief for the first time.

Friends also flooded her webpage on a social networking site with messages expressing their shock at her sudden death.

Her mother Jeanette said: "I've lost my angel.

"There are no words to describe how we are feeling. It's unbearable. We are all in bits." 

She died after the top of a double-decker smashed into a plane tree.

As the driver struggled to control the No188, the tree trunk was wrenched from the ground and struck Miss Diamond on the head as she walked along the street.

The film and media studies graduate, who lived with her parents in Abbey Wood, south-east London, died at the scene in Tower Bridge Road.

Another 18 people were injured, with nine requiring hospital treatment. Four remain in hospital today.

Jeanette added: "Emily was so popular. She was such a funny and lovely girl who had her whole life ahead of her.

"I can't believe how many people have paid tribute to her online. She really was loved by everyone who knew her." 

Jeanette lives with her son Robert, 26, in Abbey Wood, south east London.
She is separated from her husband, also named Robert.

Miss Diamonds tearful mother described how her son was coping with the news: "He's in bits. He's lost his best friend.

"She was so much more than a sister to him - everyone around her loved her.

She added: "One day you go to work in the morning and the next thing you are hit by a tree in a freak accident.

"It's unbelievable. All the family are devastated."

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Bus crash

Witnesses said that injured passengers were lying on the road

Her grandmother, Irene Farrington, said: "The whole family is devastated. Emily was such a generous, bubbly girl who was also very caring.

“I'm just in shock. Emily will be missed very much as she was extremely popular and had loads of friends."

Those who knew her described the young estate agent as “the life and soul of the party”.

There were scores of messages on her webpage including one from Carly Morrish who saw Miss Diamond moments before she died.

“I tried to find you Em but you weren't there ... I thought you were going to turn up in the office and wonder what all the fuss was about,” she wrote

“You looked so pretty this morning, one minute I was talking to you and the next you were gone.

“What a cruel world.... you will always be in my heart, such an amazing person and a great friend.

 “I will miss you so much. With love now and always, sleep tight gorgeous girl xxx.”

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Bus crash

The scene of the accident was just yards from where Emily worked

Rachel Bowen described her as a “beautiful girl – inside and out” and added: “You'll always be in my thoughts babe.

“Will never forget you and our adventures. Sleep well darlin xxxxxx.”

Neighbours living near the family home paid tribute to the 23-year-old.

Sheila Thomas said of Miss Diamond's mother: "I've just spoken to her and obviously she is deeply upset.

“Emily was a really bubbly person - a really nice girl.

"It's utterly tragic what's happened. It's devastating.

"They are a very nice family, she always smiles and says hello."

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bus crash

Ms Diamond was killed and another 18 injured in the accident

Yesterday's crash has raised fears that more trees could pose serious dangers and experts have called on Transport for London to urgently re-examine both its tree maintenance procedures and driver training.

Sheila Rainger, deputy director of the RAC, said: "There are trees in Holborn which have signs on them warning bus drivers, so it is something TfL are aware of.

"It is a shocking incident that someone should lose their life. Trees, being living things, do change and may move into the path of buses.

“Drivers' training and regular monitoring of the routes are essential.

 "Hopefully TfL will once again learn lessons from this and hold a thorough inquiry."

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Bus crash

The tree branch ripped through the bus, smashing windows and tearing through metal

Andrew Howard, AA head of road safety, said TfL's attitude to avoiding accidents needed to be looked at.

He said: "Do you trust the drivers not to hit the tree or do you chop it down? If it is a simple matter of pruning, or to remove the trees, there have to be questions asked about the procedures, particularly as it has happened before."

A TfL spokesman said it was too early to say what caused the accident. He added: "Trees along this section of Tower Bridge Road are owned and maintained by Transport for London and are included in our rigorous tree maintenance programme.

"All aspects of the incident will be included in our investigation." TfL could not say when this stretch of road was last examined.”

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