'He was such a brilliant husband, father and son'

The victims
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The Independent Online

The widow of one of the four victims of the Hatfield rail crash told how she learnt something was wrong through an answerphone message.

The widow of one of the four victims of the Hatfield rail crash told how she learnt something was wrong through an answerphone message.

Steve Arthur, a pilot aged 46, was travelling to Leeds to pick up passengers to fly to Jersey and one of the people he had been due to collect rang his wife, Lindsey, on Tuesday to say he had not arrived.

Mrs Arthur said last night she had not heard of the train crash until she got the message and it was not until yesterday that she discovered her husband had died.

Mrs Arthur, 33, from Pease Pottage, West Sussex, said: "I am just numb. Steve was such a brilliant husband, father and son. Steve ran the Atlantic Gulf Aviation company, which was based near Miami in Florida and spent a lot of his time abroad.

"I had heard nothing about the crash and the first I knew of it was a message on my answerphone yesterday evening from one of the passengers Steve had been due to pick up in Leeds.

"I had a sleepless night and then at 7.30am today I got the news about Steve."

Mrs Arthur, who joined other relatives of the victims at the scene of the crash yesterday evening, added: "Going to the crash scene was something of a help to me. I spoke to another lady who was widowed."

She said her husband was born in Croydon and had had a number of jets before starting his flying company.

The couple, who were married eight years ago, had two children - Holly, seven, and Nicholas, four, who, Mrs Arthur said, did not know about their father's death. Mr Arthur was an only child. His mother, Audrey, is a widow.

Two other men who died in the crash were named last night as Peter Monkhouse, 50, of Weetwood Avenue, Headingley, Leeds, who is thought to have been the managing director of a media company and Leslie Gray, 43, of Tuxford, Nottinghamshire.

The fourth victim of Tuesday's Great North Eastern Railway derailment has not yet been named.

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