An ambulance technician who died when an object pierced his vehicle’s windscreen was killed in a “freak accident”, his family said.
Jeremy Daw, 66, known to friends as Jack, died on Saturday morning as he responded to a 999 call in Hertfordshire.
It is believed the accident was caused by a lorry flicking up a stone into the windshield.
Daw, who was in the front passenger seat, had just returned to West Midlands Ambulance Service in January, having retired as a paramedic last November. He had 29 years’ experience with the ambulance service.
His daughter, Kate, 42, told The Sun: “When my son had to do a school project on a superhero he did it on my dad.
“Life will never be the same without him and my mum’s world has just fallen apart.”
Watch: Ambulance worker killed in accident had just returned from retirement
Daw’s son Richard told the newspaper: “We can't believe he's gone. It was a freak accident; the stone from a wheel of a lorry penetrated the windscreen and hit my dad.”
The paramedic who was driving the ambulance was also injured in the incident shortly before 8am near the junction of Moreton Road and the A49, north of Hereford. Daw died at the scene.
West Mercia Police said they were “satisfied” that the incident was not the result of a “deliberate act”.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said Mr Daw “represented the best” of the health service.
He said: “After almost three decades’ service, he returned to the frontline from a well-earned retirement to help patients during the coronavirus pandemic, and served as a mentor to younger colleagues.
“On behalf of everyone across the NHS, our heartfelt condolences go to Jeremy’s family, friends and colleagues, as we also wish his crewmate a swift recovery.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service emergency operations delivery director Nathan Hudson said Daw’s death was the result of a “tragic accident” and was not believed to be “malicious”.
Hudson said of the paramedic: “He was one of life’s good guys and he will be sorely missed in and around Hereford.
“Everybody knew him and he was just a genuinely nice person.
“If you speak to the staff at Hereford, what they remember is that he used to go out and clean the vehicles every morning, he would wipe the windscreens down.
“He used to do that as a matter of course. He took great pride in his work.”
Hudson said Daw was eight shifts away from full-time retirement, having returned “to support the trust during the pandemic” at the start of 2021.
The driver of the ambulance, who had worked with Daw previously, was taken to hospital for treatment but has since been discharged.
Inspector Chris Watson, from West Mercia Police, said: “We are still thoroughly investigating this incident and although at an early stage, we are satisfied that this was not a deliberate act.”
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