Birmingham & Black Country

Storm Doris: Woman killed by debris in Wolverhampton named

Tahnie Martin Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Tahnie Martin died at the scene

A woman who died after being hit by debris that came loose from a roof in Storm Doris has been named.

Tahnie Martin, a 29-year-old university worker from Stafford, was passing Starbucks coffee shop in Dudley Street, Wolverhampton when the large piece of wooden roofing hit her.

Ms Martin suffered "very serious head injuries" and died at the scene.

A number of people were also injured as winds of up to 94mph were recorded across the UK.

  • A woman in her 60s was seriously injured when she was hit by a car-port roof in Stoke-on-Trent
  • In London, a man was found with suspected head injuries in Victoria Street after police were alerted to reports of "debris falling from the roof of a building"
  • In Merseyside, a man in his 60s suffered back and pelvic injuries when a tree fell in Crosby, North West Ambulance Service said

Updates on this and more stories from Birmingham and the Black Country

Ms Martin was with a group of colleagues from the University of Wolverhampton at the time of the tragedy, which happened at about 11:45 GMT.

Two colleagues were taken to New Cross Hospital to be treated for minor injuries but have since been discharged, the university said.

'Strong and opinionated'

West Midlands Police said they were working with Wolverhampton City Council and the Health and Safety Executive to establish which building the roofing came from.

Ms Martin, a former pupil at Cannock Chase High School, graduated from Birmingham City University in 2013 with an honours degree in marketing, advertising and public relations.

She started work at the Wolverhampton university in August, and was due to start a role as postgraduate marketing manager next week.

One of her friends, Paris Theodorou, described Ms Martin as "Intelligent, opinionated, strong, independent and beautiful".

Writing on Facebook, he said: "One of the most on-point girls I've ever met.

"Only spoke to her a couple weeks ago and she spoke such kind words. I'm so gutted and I wish I told her more often how special she is."

One of Ms Martin's former lecturers, Nicola Gittins, described her as a "first class student in every way".

Image caption Flowers have been laid at the scene of Miss Martin's death

Dr Aidan Byrne, course leader, said she organised a large event for staff the night before she died.

"Everyone in the English department is shocked and saddened by the death yesterday of Tahnie Martin," he said.

"She organised our 50th anniversary dinner on Wednesday night, coping with us with humour and forbearance.

"She was irrepressibly optimistic and kind, full of ideas and always enthusiastic.

"We were so grateful to her, and we're glad that the last thing we did on Wednesday night was give her a hug and tell her how much we appreciated everything she did.

'Shining star'

"She will be missed by everyone who knew her."

Katharine Clough, director of external relations at the university, described her as "one of our shining stars, a talented and creative marketing professional with an enthusiasm and smile which were infectious."

University of Wolverhampton vice-chancellor Professor Geoff Layer said: "We are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss.

"During Tahnie's short time at the university, she made a real impact both in a professional and personal capacity.

"She became a very popular member of the team and was highly valued."

Image copyright Express & Star
Image caption The woman was hit by debris near Starbucks in Wolverhampton city centre

Det Insp Paul Joyce, of West Midlands Police, said: "We are still trying to ascertain who the building belongs to and whether there is any criminal liability.

"This is a deeply tragic incident and our thoughts remain with Miss Martin's family."

The Health and Safety Executive said it was supporting police and making inquiries whether it was required to investigate.

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