Grandfather slips on ice and dies in front of grandkids

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A 70-year-old grandfather of two has died after suffering a fatal fall on ice outside Saint Thomas’ Primary School in Neilston.

Ken Smart, a retired ScotRail engineering manager, was with his two grandchildren when he fell on the untreated street.

He cracked his head suffering a head injury which caused his death in hospital the following day.

Youngsters Katie and Jack witnessed the shocking accident. Eight-year-old Katie ran to get her mother Jill – screaming that her grandad was dead.

Jill, (38), said: “I ran out of the house in my nightie and bare feet, along the road and up the hill to where my dad was lying on his back, stiff as a board, with his eyes open.

“A man was phoning for an ambulance and I was just screaming at my dad. The hill is so steep and it was very cold and icy. People were slipping all over the place.

Jill accompanied her dad in the ambulance to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley. She was met there by her mum Agnes. However, Ken’s condition deteriorated and his stunned family were told he would not recover, as his head injury was too severe.

Jill said: “My dad was my mum’s first and only love and they’d been together for 50 years. As an only child, I grew up as a much-loved daughter with many happy memories.

“What happened cannot be undone, but my father in the end made everything all right for other people and that’s what he did all his life.”

The school has two entrances, with only the street outside the main gate routinely gritted. The steep road where Ken slipped is next to a side gate commonly used by parents. But the street is not on the council’s gritting routes.

Now Jill wants East Renfrewshire Council to review its policy on gritting roads outside primary schools and on steep hills.

Jill added: “It’s not a wee side street. It’s a long, extremely steep road. It’s shocking it wasn’t treated by the council.”

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “Our deepest and heartfelt condolences are with the family at this very sad time. During periods of adverse weather our gritting team treats priority roads and pavements across East Renfrewshire. These routes have been designed to treat as much of the network as possible within our resources and covers a proportionately wider area than most councils. This significant level of gritting has been maintained for the past decade. Our routes also ensure that at least one access into all schools is treated, which includes the main entrance of St Thomas’ Primary on Broadlie Road, Neilston. All gritting routes are regularly monitored and are published on our website.”