Tributes paid to former Eastbourne mayor after car trap horror

David Tutt with Beryl Healy and Stephen Lloyd

David Tutt with Beryl Healy and Stephen Lloyd

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Tributes have been pouring in after the sudden and tragic death of eminent politician Beryl Healy who died yesterday (Thursday) after becoming trapped under her car in a freak accident.

Mrs Healy, 79, became trapped under the Renault Modus as she unloaded her shopping outside her home in Pococks Road on the Rodmill estate. Police have yet to confirm exactly how the accident happened.

Builders working nearby and a passing taxi driver from Call a Cab used a pallet and breeze blocks to try to raise the car as emergency services rushed to the scene.

She was airlifted to the major trauma unit at Brighton but died hours later.

Mrs Healy, a widow, was a prominent politician, a former Eastbourne mayor, a Samaritan and prolific Liberal Democrat campaigner.

She was hugely popular and worked tirelessly behind the scenes for Eastbourne.

Mrs Healy was a former mayor, leader and alderman of Eastbourne Borough Council and also a former councillor at East Sussex County Council.

She was first elected as a Liberal Democrat councillor in September 1993. Mrs Healy first represented the Roseland ward and then Devonshire ward from May 2002.

During her time in office, Mrs Healy was mayor of Eastbourne for three consecutive years in 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/2000 and leader of the council in 2002/03 and 2003/04.

She retired as a borough councillor in May 2006 and sas subsequently awarded the title of Honorary Alderman in March 2012 for eminent service to Eastbourne Borough Council.

Mrs Healy also represented Eastbourne on East Sussex County Council. She was elected as a county councillor for the Cavendish division in June 2001 and then to the Devonshire division from May 2005. She eventually retired as a county councillor in May 2013.

A council spokesperson said, “All of us at Eastbourne Borough Council wish to express our profound sadness at this news and our thoughts and condolences are with Beryl’s family.”

Stephen Lloyd led the tributes to Mrs Healy, a former nurse at the DGH and Seaside Medical Centre.Beryl was a former Mayor and “Beryl Healy was a force of nature; a wonderful, wonderful woman and one of the best friends I have ever had throughout my political journey,” said Mr Lloyd.

“I loved her dearly.”

Chairman of East Sussex Fire Authority, Councillor Phil Howson said, “Beryl Healy served as a well respected member of the Fire Authority for many years and was a great supporter of East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. We are very sad to hear of the news of her death and our condolences go out to Beryl’s family and friends.”

On Facebook and social media people have been posting tributes.

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