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'He died doing the job he loved' says family in tribute to NHS volunteer blood biker killed in collision

Russell Curwen's family paid tribute to a "much-loved son", while Blood Bike North West, is reportedly planning something special to remember Curwen by like naming a bike after him
UPDATED FEB 13, 2020
(Source: Getty Images)
(Source: Getty Images)

The family of Russell Curwen, a 49-year-old volunteer for the National Health Service, have paid a touching tribute to him after he was killed in a collision on Caton Road, Lancaster, at 19:45 BST on Saturday, 5th May. Curwen, who was on his Blood Bike North West motorcycle at the time, was struck down by a 65-year-old man driving a Jaguar.

"Who knows how many lives Russell has helped to save. He was a great guy,” Lee Townsend, vice chairman of Blood Bike North West told the BBC. "Everybody in the charity bar none is absolutely shocked and stunned."

Blood Bike North West, which has more than 300 volunteers, is reportedly planning to do something special to remember Curwen like possibly naming a bike after him. 

"This was a tragic incident involving a man, who was conveying items on behalf of the NHS, and a car that was driving along the slip road towards the Bay Gateway," Sgt Lee Harris of Lancashire Police said.

Russell was transporting very urgent samples from Westmorland General Hospital to Lancaster Blood Sciences when the crash occurred. He was promptly airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital but soon died from his injuries. Curwen, who hailed from Kendal, Cumbria, was employed as a medical services support driver and did volunteer work for Blood Bike North West. The driver of the Jaguar who hit him also suffered some minor injuries.

The organization posted a tribute on their website describing Russell and his journey with them - "Russell had been a member of NWBB L&L for just over two and a half years and was a very active member. He was a warm, friendly and affable man well-liked and respected by his colleagues, who gave his spare time to help others."

NorthWest Blood Bikers, the organization that Russell worked for provides free and professional voluntary service out of normal working hours for the transportation of urgent and emergency items, anything that can be carried by motorcycle for the benefit of the publicly funded emergency services.

"Russell liked to live life to the full,” Curwen’s family said. "He had a keen interest in active hobbies including diving, skiing, mountain biking and surfing. However, it was for his employment as a medical services support driver and his voluntary work for the Blood Bike North West that Russell is best remembered. He gave up his time to take much needed, vital blood supplies to hospitals to help people who needed it most, and Russell died doing what he loved.

"Russell is a much-loved son, brother and uncle and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him." Many readers also sent their condolences on social media with some even applauding the man for his service.