The wife of a Loscoe father of eight who died just before Christmas has revealed how she had run past the scene of the road accident without knowing he was involved.
Telesales manager John Saunders, 47, was riding his moped through Denby on his way to work on December 17 when he was caught up in an incident with a Range Rover.
While details of what happened are subject to an ongoing inquest at Derby Coroners Court, John’s wife Jacqui talked about her family’s grief for the first time this week.
Jacqui, 50, had been directed away from the scene of the accident while out jogging and tried to phone John to tell him something had happened.
She said: “I thought I should ring him to say you’ve had a lucky escape, only to find he hadn’t, it was him.”
John, an only child born in Kirk Hallam, met Jacqui in an Eastwood pub in 1992 and soon became a father figure to her daughter Anna.
Three daughters and four sons followed, the youngest now 10, plus two grandchildren who called John Pops.
Jacqui said: “He was always a gentleman who wouldn’t let you walk on the roadside. We could talk for hours and never run out of things to say. Life wasn’t perfect but the good outweighs any of the bad.”
“The community has rallied around and we are supporting each other as a family. We miss him terribly, he didn’t deserve this tragic ending.”
Daughter Kirsty, 25, said: “He always made time for all of us individually. He’d give me a hug when I came in. It’s those moments I miss most.
“He would text me every Friday night saying ‘Good night, God bless you’ so that’s my last message from him.”
John’s mum Gwyn, a retired teacher, said her ex-neighbour was first at the scene of the incident before the emergency services.
Gwyn said: “John always went for a drink with his dad every Saturday night after he left home. When his dad passed away five years ago I went with him every Saturday.
“It sorted out the week. John was an honourable man and he was very honest. He had a very deep faith.”
John’s funeral is on Friday, February 1, at St Lawrence’s Church, Heanor at 11am, followed by cremation at Mansfield at 12.30pm.