Tributes paid to Ufton Nervet crash victim

Published: 25 May 2012 09:30

TRIBUTES have been paid to a teacher killed when his motor scooter collided with a train at a notorious level crossing.

David Montague

David Montague died instantly on Tuesday when his silver Piaggio scooter was in collision with a First Great Western express at the half-barrier crossing in the village of Ufton Nervet.

Nobody on the 12.18pm Paddington-Taunton train was injured in the impact which scattered the wreckage of Mr Montague's machine over a wide area at 1.10pm. Train services between Reading, Newbury and the West Country were disrupted until 7.30pm.

The 45-year-old, lived in a semi-detached house in Welford Road, Woodley, with his wife and two children, aged nine and 11.

He taught French and Spanish at Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning for six years, and headteacher Michael Windsor said: "David was an enormous enthusiast for modern languages and loved sharing his expertise and passion with his pupils. He led numerous trips to Madrid and Barcelona. He was also very committed to environmental issues and led the School's Eco Schools Committee. David was a tutor in the sixth form and helped advise sixth formers as they considered university and careers options.

"David will be warmly remembered by the whole community here at Blue Coat and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Mr Montague had held a similar post at Reading Girls School in Whitley between September 1999 and April 2006.

Vivienne Angus, headteacher at Reading Girls School, added: "David worked hard and he was liked and respected by both pupils and staff. He will be greatly missed and our sympathies are with his family."

Officers are not treating his death as suspicious, but investigations are continuing.

Leisure company boss Nick Harborne, director of Canal and Tipi Experience, who was mending a boat on the nearby Kennet and Avon Canal, said: "The canal runs along the track and we suddenly heard this big bang and a lot of screeching and braking.

"We thought the train had derailed because it looked that way, although it remained upright. We could see people hanging out of the windows to see what was going on and then we heard the sirens.

"It wasn't until later we found out that someone had died. It's very sad."

In November 2004, seven people were killed when a train collided with a car which had been driven onto the Ufton Nervet crossing by Reading chef Brian Drysdale, 48.

There was also an incident in September last year, when rail staff did not get a message to lower the barriers at the Ufton Nervet level crossing and a car narrowly avoided colliding with the oncoming train.

Mr Harborne added: "We don't know the circumstances, but it must be time now to install full barriers at the crossing to avoid things like this happening."

Did you know Mr Montague? Send your tributes to

Jump to first paragraph.

Get more stories from our Roundup section

18 Apr 2014 12:00 • James Ash

Burghfield Bowls Club unveils new playing green

THE sun was shining over Burghfield Bowls Club when its new playing green was unveiled.

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 14:00 • Andrew Belt

Shop worker hit round the head by masked robbers in daylight attack in Whitley

A SHOP worker was hit round the head and forced to open a till by masked robbers in a terrifying daylight attack in Whitley.

Social: Comments0 comments

16 Apr 2014 18:00

TRAFFIC UPDATE: Delays of around one hour on M4

ONE lane of the M4 has been closed due to an collision involving two cars.

Social: Comments1 comment

14 Apr 2014 09:30 • Nick Gutteridge

Thames Valley Police in top five forces for stress related absences

THAMES Valley Police is in the top five constabularies for stress related absences in England and Wales, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Social: Comments1 comment

14 Apr 2014 08:00 • Andrew Belt

Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading releases film to reassure young patients

AN INNOVATIVE film has been launched to reassure parents about their child’s operation.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 17:00 • Andrew Belt

Flood victims across Berkshire and Reading back on track thanks to Berkshire Community Foundation

NEIGHBOURS, communities and businesses devastated by some of the worst-ever flooding to hit Berkshire can get their lives back on track with a £150,000 recovery pot.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 12:00

Street renamed in honour of Reading's only Victoria Cross winner, Trooper Fred Potts

THE courage of Reading’s own war hero was commemorated on Saturday when a road was named after him. Members of Trooper Fred Potts’ family joined relatives of Arthur Andrews – the man he saved – to unveil the new Trooper Potts Way sign, by the Northern Interchange at Reading Station.


13 Apr 2014 08:00 • James Ash

Reading College students grill Reading East MP Rob Wilson on the big issues

ASPIRING broadcasters gave the Newsnight team a run for their money when they fired questions at Reading East MP Rob Wilson.


12 Apr 2014 17:30

Two-car smash on M4

FIREFIGHTERS were called out to a smash on the M4 this morning which injured three people.

Social: Comments0 comments

12 Apr 2014 17:00 • James Ash

Thames Valley Police figures show crime drops in Reading but sex cases spiral

THE number of sexual offences in Reading has rocketed by nearly 50% –despite crime rates being at their lowest since 1999.

Social: Comments0 comments

12 Apr 2014 12:00 • Nick Gutteridge

Pensioner in high speed car chase across Caversham

A PENSIONER who could not afford car insurance sparked a terrifying high-speed chase through Caversham after being spooked by a police patrol car.


12 Apr 2014 09:45

Firefighters tackle burning Nissan Micra on M4

FIREFIGHTERS tackled a burning car on the M4 last night.

Social: Comments0 comments

12 Apr 2014 08:00

Brave Gurkha Victoria Cross winner, Rambahadur Limbu, given a bus tour around Reading

THE last surviving Gurkha to be awarded the Victoria Cross was honoured by Reading Buses last week with a top-deck tour of the town.


11 Apr 2014 17:30 • Nick Gutteridge

Car wash plans for Hills Meadow Car Park in Caversham

A RUBBISH-STREWN patch of car park which has become a target for vandals could be set for a cleaner future after an entrepreneur revealed his desire to turn it into a business venture.


11 Apr 2014 12:30

Countdown is on to this year's Reading Contemporary Art Fair

READING-based artists are putting the finishing touches to their masterpieces as a major art fair inches closer.


11 Apr 2014 08:00 • James Ash

Business rates hope for Pangbourne businesses affected by Whitchurch Bridge closure

PANGBOURNE businesses left struggling to stay afloat after the closure of Whitchurch Bridge finally received a helping hand last week.

Social: Comments0 comments

10 Apr 2014 16:30 • Nick Gutteridge

Up to 300 jobs at risk in Reading after hibu announces wave of job cuts

UP TO 300 jobs could be at risk after a Reading-based company announced a wave of job cuts today.

Social: Comments0 comments

10 Apr 2014 16:15

Hunt for river towpath flasher

POLICE are hunting for witnesses after a man exposed himself to two women along a river towpath.


10 Apr 2014 13:30

Opera company bring Handel's Messiah to Reading

A PROFESSIONAL opera company will perform for the first time in Reading next week.

Social: Comments0 comments

10 Apr 2014 12:00 • James Ash

Streatley primary school ranked 'good' by Ofsted

A PRIMARY school is on the road to success after scoring high marks with an education watchdog.