Tributes paid to Holborn mini cab driver killed by falling masonry

The grieving family of a grandmother who was killed after a building collapsed on her minicab during stormy weather have paid tribute to her life.

Julie Sillitoe, 49, was killed after falling masonry landed on her minicab as she drove a young couple past the tube station in Holborn.

Emergency services and staff at a nearby restaurant rushed to their aid but the married mother of three grown sons was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both of her passengers, a 25-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, were pulled from the wreckage alive and were treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

The falling masonry came as a result of strong winds and rain which had swept through the country that evening, leaving thousands of homes without power as well as damaging numerous properties and infrastructure.

An initial investigation is being carried out by the Metropolitan Police to rule out any foul play.

Osama Qashoo, the manager of Hiba, a Lebanese and Palestinian restaurant on the ground floor of the building that collapsed, told how he heard the crash and was hit by falling stones as he tried to help those trapped in the car.

He described hearing screams of pain from the passengers in the back seat but believed Julie had already died.

He said: “I reacted on the sound first. It was a kind of big bang. I looked outside and I saw this car literally flattened. When I went to the other side of the car I tried to reach out to Julie. Half of my body was going through the window. Then I heard through the back seat someone screaming.

“The car was crushed into a flower shape with sharp metal edges poking inside the car at the back seat passengers. The woman was screaming ‘my face, my face’. Then a rock fell on my shoulders. It was very quick. I was lucky that it didn’t fall on my head. I ran away, out of instinct, and I fell on the ground and started vomiting.”

Police, paramedics, three ambulance crews and 20 firefighters had been called to the scene that night with more than 10 people evacuated from nearby buildings as a precaution.

A spokesman for the Met Police said that the investigation was ongoing into the collapse.

Claims if you are injured by falling masonry

Severe weather conditions can wreak havoc to infrastructure and buildings to such an extent that it can place human life at risk, so if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a situation like this then you could be left to suffer the dramatic consequences. Incidents such as this could pose a huge risk to your life, with many instances forcing people to undergo hospital treatment which can be both costly and time consuming. In cases such as this, you may be eligible to make a claim against the owner of the building for failing to maintain an acceptable standard of health and safety.

Can Manners Pimblett help me with my claim?

If you have been injured as a result of falling masonry then you may want to consider making a claim for compensation. Here at Manners Pimblett we have a highly experienced team of professionals who can work with you throughout the course of the claim to ensure that we win the compensation you deserve. We understand have delicate these situations can be, which is why we will work closely with you to ensure nothing gets lost in translation. So if you are interested in our help then simply contact us today on 0845 072 0772 and let us help you.


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