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‘They were so happy’: Tributes paid to ‘lovely’ couple Colin Hicks and Harry Keller, who died in Romford bus crash on Friday

Flowers at the scene of the crash in Western Road, Romford Flowers at the scene of the crash in Western Road, Romford

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
12:01 PM

Friends have paid tribute to the “lovely” couple with a “great sense of humour” who were tragically killed in a road crash in Romford last week.

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Colin Hicks and Harry Keller, both 66, died in Western Road on Friday afternoon, after they were hit by a 252 double decker bus.

The pair, who were civil partners, lived in sheltered accommodation in Stone Close, Dagenham.

This week, neighbours Patrick and Lynne Hamilton spoke of the community’s shock at Colin and Harry’s deaths.

“I was speaking to one of them the night before,” said Lynne. “It’s horrible. It’s a big shock – they were lovely people.”

Patrick added: “They had a great sense of humour. You just couldn’t stop laughing when they started speaking. They bounced off each other.

“They were lovely people. I don’t think you could fault them in any way.”

Harry, real name Henry, had recently retired and is thought to have been recovering from a fall.

The couple were planning to go to Tenerife for Christmas.

“They were so happy,” said Lynne. “They were just starting to enjoy their retirement after the accident.

“We’re proud to have known them. They will be missed – it’s been a big shock in this building.”

Wayne Adams, who was the couple’s warden in Stone Close for two and a half years, added his voice to the appeal for witnesses.

“They are lovely people, and always invited you in for a cup of tea,” he said. “They will both be missed by so many friends they made while living at Stone Close, as they always came along to any social functions organised by sheltered housing in Dagenham.

“I just can’t believe what has happened – they were very careful and always looked after each other.

“I hope witnesses come forward, as there are two families with missing loved ones this Christmas.”

Formal identification has yet to take place, but a Met spokesman said officers were “satisfied” Colin and Harry were the victims. Next of kin have been informed.

Their post mortem examinations are due to take place at Queen’s Hospital tomorrow.

Following the crash, the bus driver, who stopped at the scene, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He has now been bailed to a date in late January, pending further investigation.

Police said they believed there had been “a large number of witnesses” at the scene, including passengers on the 252 and those on another bus nearby.

If you saw what happened, please contact the Met’s road death investigation unit on 020 8842 1817.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Did you know Colin and Harry? If you would like to leave a tribute, please contact the news desk on 020 8477 3903 or e-mail ramzy.alwakeel@archant.co.uk.

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