THE FAMILY of a homeless man who died after being knocked down by a lorry have spoken of their gratitude to the community following his death.
Rory Dove, 43, died near the Asda store, on Barnsley Road, Moorthorpe, on February 23. He suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
His mum, Elaine Dove, and brother Russell Dove, both from Wigan, were joined by many people from South Elmsall to watch the unveiling of a plaque to Mr Dove’s memory outside Asda on Monday.
Russell Dove, 45, said: “The community spirit has been brilliant. The plaque was very fitting as it was a place where he was well known and will now be remembered there for years to come.
“It’s lovely to know that people have been looking out for him.”
Mrs Dove, 68, said: “He led a very hard life but he wanted it that way. I had tried to help him in every way and others had done the same.
“Rory was unique, it was never boring being with him.”
The store has raised more than £1,000 from customers and staff which has been donated to Wakefield’s Community Awareness Programme – which helps homeless people.
Store manager Greg Adams said: “There was an excellent turnout and it just goes to show the support and friendship the whole community had for Rory.
“Thank you to everyone who donated money, it was a fantastic amount to raise.”
An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned last Wednesday and it was heard that Mr Dove was known to use alcohol and drugs. On the day of his death it is suspected drugs were used.
Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Dove was seen to cross over the road intending to sit on the bench opposite the store. While he was standing on the pavement, he leaned backwards against the side of a parked lorry. The vehicle moved forward causing Mr Dove to be thrown to the ground and make contact with the wheels of the lorry.
Police and an ambulance attended, but Mr Dove was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 1.30pm.
A funeral will take place on Monday and leaves from EV Fox and Sons Funeral Directors, on Barnsley Road, South Elmsall.
Transport has been provided by B Travel, 001 Cars and Tingeys to follow the courtage. They will arrive at Asda at 9.15am.