'Horrific tragedy': Man died trapped in car in Storm Babet floodwater

Peter Pelling's body was found after emergency services launched a major search operation on Friday.

Family pays tribute to man who died after car swept away in Storm Babet floods Police Scotland

The family of a man who died after his car was swept away in Storm Babet floodwater has been “absolutely devastated” by the “horrific tragedy”.

Peter Pelling, from Arbroath, was found dead after being trapped inside his car in floodwater. He is one of seven people to have lost their lives during the storm.

A major search operation was launched on Friday after the incident was reported around 3am near the Aberdeenshire village of Marykirk, which was under a red warning for extreme weather.

Mr Pelling’s family has paid tribute, describing him as a “very kind, loyal and hardworking man”.

His body was recovered on Monday and police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Marykirk was overcome by flooding during Storm Babet on October 20, 2023STV News

A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

In a statement released through Police Scotland, his family said: “Peter was a much-loved son, brother, uncle, partner and friend. Our family are absolutely devastated by this horrific and tragic accident.

“We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the first responders and all of the emergency services teams involved in what was a particularly challenging rescue, due to the weather and environmental factors surrounding the incident. Their continued efforts over the past few days has been so greatly appreciated.

“We would like to ask for privacy while we come to terms with this incredible loss.”

Seven dead from impact of Storm Babet

A car collapsed into part of the road washed away by Storm Babet near Longforgan.Facebook / Scot Kilminster

Seven people have died across the UK due to the impact of Storm Babet, including three in Scotland.

West Mercia Police said a man in his 60s died after getting caught in fast-flowing flood water from a brook that breached a road in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire on Friday morning.

The day before, Police Scotland confirmed a falling tree hit a van near Forfar in Angus, killing a driver.

John Gillan, 56, was driving on the B9127 at Whigstreet near Forfar, Angus, when the incident happened at about 5.05pm on Thursday.

John Gillan died during Storm Babet.Police Scotland

Emergency crews arrived and attempted to treat the 56-year-old, from Arbroath, but he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Earlier on Thursday, a 57-year-old woman died after being swept into a river in Angus.

The body of Wendy Taylor was found in the Water of Lee in Glen Esk at around 4pm on Thursday after reports she had become trapped in the water during the torrential conditions.

Wendy TaylorPolice Scotland

In a statement released through Police Scotland, her family said: “We are absolutely heartbroken to lose Wendy in such tragic circumstances and are still struggling to come to terms with it. Wendy was a beautiful, kind, funny and caring person. She was a ray of sunshine for everyone who was fortunate enough to know her.”

83-year-old Maureen Gilbert was found dead in her flooded home in Tapton Terrace, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on Saturday morning.

Mrs Gilbert’s neighbours said 5ft of water had engulfed the inside of their properties “within minutes” of the River Rother bursting its banks.

Two women died after a five-vehicle crash on the M4 on Friday morning which is believed to have been weather-related.

Four cars and an HGV were involved in the crash on the eastbound carriageway between junction 17 for Chippenham and junction 18 for Bath.

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