THEY came to pay their respects to a fallen colleague who died doing the job she loved.

Almost 50 ambulance staff from across the region gathered at the spot where 42-year-old Gill Randall was killed in a crash that also claimed the life of an elderly patient.

Gill was driving the 88-yearold man to Southampton General Hospital last Friday when her vehicle left the road and hit a tree.

Yesterday tearful colleagues from Hampshire and some of the other counties covered by South Central Ambulance Service assembled at the crash scene to honour their friend and colleague.

Managers, off-duty staff and ambulancemen not on frontline duty congregated at the entrance to the New Forest Show arena at New Park, Brockenhurst.

Tears Many hugged and consoled each other before making the short walk along the busy A337 to the spot where Gill and her patient lost their lives.

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Some continued to wipe away tears as they placed floral tributes at the scene.

The ambulance service’s chief executive, Will Hancock, said: “Gill died doing the job she loved. It was an emotional and devastating event that will change us all.”

In a message to Gill’s grieving colleagues he added: “Take the time you need. We will support you in whichever way we can.”

Gill was based at Lymington ambulance station and worked alongside John Tutton, who was among those paying tribute.

He said: “Gill was a popular girl with a heart of gold. She was also a very hard-working member of the team – a real grafter.”

Mr Tutton praised the large number of people who turned out to honour their fellow NHS worker.

“I came here today expecting to see about half a dozen yellow jackets but there must have been 50. It’s just amazing,” he said.

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Other mourners included Terisa Liddon and Ashley Thomas, who are friends of Gill’s son Greg.

Two people were seriously injured in the crash – a male member of the ambulance crew and the son of the patient who died.

Last night it emerged that the ambulanceman is Rich Riley, who is married with a young family. He moved to Hampshire from London about 18 months ago.

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The other injured person is David Ironside, chairman of Hordle Parish Council and a member of New Milton Rugby Club. Cllr Ironside, who was accompanying his father to hospital, is understood to have injuries to his ribs and pelvis.

Mr Riley and Cllr Ironside are both said to be in a serious condition in Southampton General Hospital.

A member of Hordle Parish Council said: “David’s a lovely man and we’re all very upset. It’s an absolute tragedy for everyone involved.”

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Rugby club members declined to comment ahead of a family statement expected to be released today.

The ambulance left the road after it was involved in a collision with a Seat Alhambra as both vehicles headed north along the A337.

The car was being driven by a 25-year-old Brockenhurst man who was later arrested on suspicion of causing death by driving without due care and attention.

He has since been released on bail until July 29.

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