THE wife of a BBC employee who died when two cars plunged into a river paid tribute yesterday to the “wonderful and loving” father – and praised their brave children for their heroic escape.
In a statement issued through the BBC, Ruth Cox revealed their daughter Tess dived into the icy water to escape the submerged car.
David Cox, 42, and his wife were driving their children Tess, 11, and Ioan, nine, in separate cars on the school run on Thursday when they both skidded off a narrow path into the River Wye in Derbyshire.
Tess managed to escape her father’s Toyota Aygo and get safely to the riverbank, but Mr Cox died after being trapped in the car for about 40 minutes.
In her statement, Mr Cox’s widow said: “I am very proud of our daughter Tess.
“She held her breath and dived under the water to look for a way out of the car.
“Tess then swam to the far bank. I am also very proud of our son Ioan. Whilst the car was filling with water he kept calm and attempted to unsuccessfully smash the rear side window.”
Mrs Cox added: “We were both able to get out of the car and on to the river bank.
“I am very proud of how they ran back down the lane to the cottages to raise the alarm.”
The head of the BBC, acting director-general Tim Davie, also paid tribute to Mr Cox yesterday.