Heartbreak over bus driver’s death

Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo

Tributes have been paid to a father-of-three from Wigan who died after he was found trapped underneath a bus outside Chester Zoo.

Forty-six year-old Wayne Lannon is understood to have been carrying out repairs to a double decker, which had previously taken a school group to the attraction, at around 12.30pm on Wednesday.

The bus driver and mechanic, said to be from the Beech Hill area of the town, was working for Higher Ince based FE Finch Coaches at the time of the incident.

Paul Schofield, a manager at the Moat House Street company, confirmed yesterday that Mr Lannon was one of their employees and that support and assistance was now being offered to his close relatives.

He added: “We are just thinking about his family at the moment and have been out today offering our condolences to his wife and three children for their loss.”

One friend, who asked not to be named, said: “He was a belting bloke, who I knew through work, and the rugby. The kind of guy who would do anything for you and he will be really missed by those who knew him.”

“It’s the members of his family who I feel really sorry for now, his wife Lesley, and the children.

“He was the father of two girls and a lad and it’s just going to be heartbreaking for them right now.”

In a Facebook tribute, Collete Schofield added: “Well today something absolutely devastating happened.

“My husband has lost not only his work colleague but his best friend Wayne Lannon a absolute cracking fella.

“My heart is aching for all his family, Lesley Lannon and his beautiful children, who he absolutely adored.

“You will be so dearly missed Wayne the garage will never be the same again.”

Another friend, David Carney, also added online: “Just heard the sad,sad news of the passing of Wayne Lannon, a top lad who always had time for you.”

Mr Lannon is understood to have been carrying out repairs to the bus when a jack gave way, while he was examining it, and he sustained crush injuries.

Police and paramedics from the North West Ambulance Service erected a cordon around the vehicle, which was located in a coach park close to the zoo’s entrance, while the incident was ongoing.

But Mr Lannon was pronounced dead at the scene. His family were informed of his death later that day.

A Cheshire Police spokesman has confirmed that an inquiry is still ongoing into the matter and the Health and Safety Executive has been informed.

The senior county coroner for Cheshire, Alan Moore, has also been informed regarding the death and an inquest is expected to be formally opened later at Warrington.