'Hero' is killed helping woman locked out of flat
A MAN who died in a tragic accident as he went to the aid of a woman locked out of her Paignton flat has been hailed a hero.
Well-known bus and lorry driver David Alden, 43, fell from a ladder in the early hours of Sunday morning in Church Street.
He sustained massive brain injuries and died later in hospital after life-support machines were turned off.
Now the family has revealed his organs have been donated to save other lives.
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His wife, and mother of four, Theresa Alden-Bennett, said: "We have been told he went to help somebody who was locked out of her flat.
"That's just the sort of thing he would do. He was a hero. He had always wanted to join the fire brigade and did a training course in Kent a year or so ago."
David was well-known locally as a Stagecoach number 12 bus driver, National Express coach driver and lorry driver.
Mother-in-law Mary Bennett said: "He was a popular, sociable man known to many from his days driving the number 12 bus in Torbay."
She said: "He passed away in a tragic accident. He was a hero. He was trying to climb up a ladder to get into an open window for an elderly lady who was locked out of her flat.
"He fell and hit the ground sustaining a massive fracture and brain injury."
A friend of the family who was on her way to work at a Paignton care home at 5.30am saw him fall from the ladder, Mrs Bennett said.
"The ladder fell sideways and he was hanging on to the parapet. He landed on his feet on an incline and fell backwards, hitting his head on a metal grating.
"It's typical of David that he went to help somebody."
She added: "David's organs were donated to save, we are told, at least 12 other peoples' lives across the country.
"We were told that his heart and lungs went to save a young person at Harefield Hospital.
"He will forever be missed by his wife Theresa and his beautiful children."
David was originally from Sidcup in Kent and had returned to lived in Paignton eight weeks ago after working in Sidcup.
Police confirmed that they had received a phone call from a woman reporting that she had been locked out of her Church Street flat. Soon after they were informed by the ambulance service that someone had fallen off a tall building in Church Street at 5.37am.
A police spokesman said: "It appears he tried to climb through a window to help someone get into a property they had been locked out of and he fell."