Fellow workers raced to help crash victims
Distressed hospital staff were in mourning yesterday, leaving flowers and messages of remembrance at the scene of Thursday's alleged fatal hit and run.
The tragic death of senior cardiac technician Linda Cox, 38, on Yamba Drive was witnessed by many hospital staff, who were crossing the road to the staff car park after finishing shifts just before 5pm.
One hospital worker, who didn't want to be identified, told of hearing a ''thud'' and then screaming.
He ran to help, along with a number of other staff, and encountered a scene of horror and confusion.
''I saw someone working on someone … so I've gone over to help them, but there were two people working frantically on that person,'' he said.
''She was dead already.
''It's not something you'd ever want to see again.''
The hospital worker also witnessed a second crash at the exact same set of traffic lights the next morning about 9am, which left a motorcyclist in hospital.
Staff laid tributes at a tree close to Yamba Drive yesterday, and Chief Minister Katy Gallagher also left flowers in memory of Mrs Cox.
Some left messages of sadness and remembrance of the cardiac technician.
''You'll be in our hearts forever, love your colleagues,'' one card read.
Another woman, also a hospital staff member, told The Canberra Times she had arrived at the crash scene within minutes on Thursday night.
The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the other person injured in the crash, Ashlee Bumpus, had lost consciousness and when she came to, she screamed, ''Linda, where are you, what's happened, is Linda all right?''
The witness said she could not help but think that it could just as easily have been her in Mrs Cox's place. ''What could the poor lady have done? She was just doing the right thing, going home from work, and now she's gone. It makes no sense,'' she said.
''It's so very, very sad.
''I can't stop thinking about her and her family and what they must be going through.''
Social staff gatherings were cancelled at the hospital yesterday out of respect.
While hospital workers were grieving, other staff were caring for Justin Monfries, 24, who was charged with the fatal hit and run. Monfries was kept at the hospital until the early afternoon, receiving treatment for minor injuries under police guard.
Support and counselling has been provided to many of the workers who witnessed the crash or were friends with the victims.
Health director-general Peggy Brown said the incident had sent shockwaves through the close-knit group of staff at the hospital. ''There is a lot of sadness and distress within the staff, we are a very tight and close community of healthcare workers,'' Dr Brown said.
''But in the face of that sadness and distress there's also resilience and strength.
''People have shown great care and compassion for their colleagues and I think that will continue.''
Ms Bumpus remains in a serious but stable condition, with leg fractures, while a third hospital staff member, who was in another vehicle and injured in the accident, was discharged from the hospital yesterday.