Cumbrian men honoured for saving lives during bridge collapse

Kevin Sheehan, left, and David Hoare. Photo: Stagecoach North West
Image caption The Stagecoach bus inspectors were both given the Royal Humane Society Award

Two Cumbrian bus inspectors have been honoured for helping save lives when a bridge collapsed from severe flooding.

Kevin Sheehan, 38, from Frizington and David Hoare, 65, from Workington, were sent to inspect Northside Bridge in Workington before it collapsed.

Both men stood at each end of the bridge to redirect traffic and stop people from crossing.

PC Bill Barker, 44, was directing motorists off the bridge when he was swept to his death on 20 November 2009.

The Stagecoach bus inspectors were both given the Royal Humane Society Award and the Chief Constable's Award at a special ceremony in Penrith.

'Tragic day'

Nigel Winter, Stagecoach managing director for Cumbria and North Lancashire, said: "This was a sad and terrible incident which tragically resulted in the loss of PC Bill Barker's life and our thoughts and condolences remain with his family.

"At Stagecoach we are very proud of the roles that Kevin and David played in preventing further loss of life. Kevin and David's families, friends and work colleagues can be rightly proud of their brave actions on that tragic day."

Cumbria County Council said damage from the 2009 floods resulted in a £276m bill, with £34m of damage to the county's bridges and roads.

The council made a deal with landowners in May to replace the Northside Bridge, which was more than 100-years-old before its collapse.

The new crossing should be completed by May 2012.

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