BY TARA O’CONNOR
Local Democracy Reporter
Three years on from a tram crash which killed seven people, their families and locals gathered to lay flowers and remember those they had lost.
A ceremony was held in New Addington to pay tribute to the dead commuters with a minute’s silence, followed by families laying flowers at the memorial in Market Square, in Central Parade.
A tram derailed at Sandilands Junction on the morning of November 9, 2016, killing seven people and injuring more than 60 others.
Reverend Andy Dovey was the chaplain on duty at Croydon Health Services on the day, and said he will never forget having to tell families that their loved ones had passed away.
He said: “For most of the day I sat with the families that were waiting to find out what had happened to their relatives.
“We had to tell a family that they had lost their son – it was the most difficult thing I’ve done in all my years of ministry.
“It is wonderful that the community here are all pulling together, but there is still a great sadness in remembering those that have been lost.
“I feel extremely sad for the loss but we keep everybody in our prayers every day.”
Family and friends of Philip Logan, one of the men killed in the derailment, gathered at the memorial.
His daughter, Lisa Allen, said: “It is lovely that people come together to remember.
“Even though it was three years ago, it is still difficult.
“I feel supported by the community, but it doesn’t make it any easier.”
But she added that she was angry that the Crown Prosecution Service and British Transport Police announcement that nobody will be charged in connection with the crash came so close to the anniversary.
“I feel frustrated realising there are no laws to stop it happening again if another driver were to fall asleep,” added Ms Allen.
The family has started a petition calling for new laws to allow drivers to be prosecuted for death by dangerous driving on trams.
Philip’s friend John Poole said: “He was my best friend – I think of him every day.
“The timing [of the CPS announcement] was rubbish. No one has got closure.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, who represents New Addington South, said the incident impacted the whole community.
He said: “It is always a really sad occasion.“It had a massive impact on all the families and those affected, but also the community as a whole.
“Everyone had a connection to it in one way or another. The anniversary is always keenly felt and people are upset and emotional about the incident.”
A woman who did not want to be named said: “It is difficult every year for the families and anyone who knows anyone involved.
“It is important to support the families and everybody else. New Addington has the best community I have ever encountered.
“The community won’t let them be forgotten – it could have been any one of us on that tram.”