Tributes to tragic coach driver Jerry
By Herald Express | Thursday, May 09, 2013, 07:00
THE funeral of a South Devon coach driver, who died after getting trapped under his vehicle, takes place today.
Jerry Takel (pictured), who lived in Torquay and had links to Bridford in the Teign Valley, was driving a coachload of passengers on a day trip when tragedy struck when the group stopped off at Lee Mill, Ivybridge.
The engine wouldn't start and he got out to investigate. Somehow he got trapped underneath the coach. Police attended and investigations continue. Friends and family will remember him at a service at Exeter Crematorium today at 2pm.
His close friend Clive Smaldon paid tribute to Jerry this week revealing his two main loves were his dogs and his job as a coach driver.
Tiverton born Jerry left school and trained to be a bus driver with Devon General.
He moved to East Devon in the late 1980s and learned the additional skills involved in coaching with Sewards Coaches before moving to Torbay in the early 1990s.
He worked for numerous coach firms over the years including Crescent Coaches, Millmans/Greycars, Classic Tours, Hookways and Hemmings Coaches, and most recently Abbots Coach Travel, as he was on the day of the accident.
He drove passengers around the UK and Europe during his career.
"His favourite place to go was Scotland, especially for the Military Tattoo," said Clive.
"Name a European country and Jerry has probably toured there numerous times."
Jerry was known by all his friends and family to be a dog lover.
"When on breaks between tours, or working locally or at home in the evenings and weekends, he would spend hours out with them walking at Walls Hill, some local fields, Cockington or on Meadfoot Beach," said Clive.
Clive believes Jerry should be remembered as being a 'people person through and through'.
"He would try his best to do anything for anyone if he could," he said.
"Jerry was given hundreds of letters and cards from people who have been on trips and tours with him.
"He had numerous groups who asked for him to drive for them over and over again. He was well respected by all for his driving ability and professionalism. He was also known for his terrible jokes, but great sense of humour.
"There was no other job he ever wanted to do and it showed in the plaudits which came his way from those he looked after when driving for them and the friendships he made."
He is survived by his father, two brothers and sister.