Mother and nine-year-old daughter among the victims of fatal collision

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The Independent Online

A mother, her daughter aged nine and another girl aged 14 were named yesterday as victims of the rail crash.

A mother, her daughter aged nine and another girl aged 14 were named yesterday as victims of the rail crash.

Anjanette Rossi, 38, and Louella Main were identified by Thames Valley Police as among seven people who died, along with Emily Webster, 14.

Pupils at Speenhamland Primary School, in Newbury, were told about Louella's death at a special assembly yesterday morning attended by the local vicar. Eleanor Brooks, the headteacher, said pupils and parents were "deeply shocked" and described her as an "exceptionally bright, kind and popular pupil".

The headteacher said: "Louella had a zest for life and a caring personality and was a supportive friend to many people. Her personality mirrored that of her mother, Anjanette, who, as an active governor of the school, was well known by many in the school community. Both had boundless enthusiasm, energy and love for the school and we will miss them enormously."

Her mother worked as a PA to the chief executive of West Berkshire Council. She was described by James Mole, chairman of the council, as a "much-loved and highly valued colleague".

The driver of the First Great Western train who died in the crash was Stanley Martin, from Torquay. Mr Martin, 54, who had two children, had worked in the railway industry for almost 40 years and was based at Exeter St David's station in Devon.

The train drivers' union Aslef said that Mr Martin was "an extremely experienced and professional driver". Keith Norman, the union's acting general secretary, said that on-board data recording equipment made it clear that Mr Martin had done everything possible to avert the accident.

Mr Martin joined the railway industry in 1965 as an engine cleaner in Birmingham. He became a driver in 1974. He moved to Plymouth in 1991 and then to Exeter five years later.

Alison Forster, the managing director of First Great Western, said: "Stan will be sadly missed by everyone in the company and especially his colleagues." She confirmed that the train's data recorder showed he acted "absolutely correctly" and did everything he could to avoid the tragedy.

"All our thoughts are with his family and colleagues who have worked with Stan during his long service with the company," she said.

Mr Martin had just got back together with his wife, Debbie, after 12 months apart and they were planning a new start with their children, Louise and James.

A former neighbour, Jean Zebrowski, said: "Stan was a really nice, friendly guy. This is the kind of street where everybody helps everybody else. I had been saying earlier that we were bound to know somebody on that train and then I found out that Stan was the driver. It's so sad."

Emily Webster was returning home to the village of Doccombe in Devon from a day out in London with a friend, who was seriously injured and remains in hospital.

Ann Boyce, deputy headteacher of Maynards Girls School in Exeter where Emily was a pupil, said: "Emily was a very popular girl who had lots of friends and was a highly independent and exceptionally talented girl. She had a huge sense of fun and will be sorely missed by all. The school has been devastated by this news and our deepest sympathy and prayers are with Emily's family and friends."

The other passengers who died were Barry Strevens, 55, from Wells, Somerset, a management consultant, and Leslie Charles Matthews, 72, from Warminster, Wiltshire.

A total of 17 patients remained in hospital yesterday. At the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, four were described as being "serious but stable", while a further six were said to have minor injuries.

Six patients were being treated at the North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke. One patient was moved from the high dependency unit on to a ward last night and the other five are described as being "stable". Another patient is being treated at an unnamed hospital after being transferred from the Royal Berkshire yesterday.

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