Heroic mother died pushing baby daughter’s pram away from oncoming lorry, partner reveals

Rebecca Ableman with her daughter Autumn (Chris Tuczemskyi/SWNS)
Rebecca Ableman with her daughter Autumn (Chris Tuczemskyi/SWNS)

A heroic mum was killed saving the life of her young daughter when she pushed the youngster’s pram out of the way of a lorry.

NHS healthcare assistant Rebecca Ableman, 30, was walking to a local shop with her two-year-old daughter Autumn when she was tragically hit by a lorry carrying a crane.

Her partner and Autumn’s father, Chris Tuczemskyi, said an eyewitness saw Rebecca push the pram away from her before she was struck.

Mr Tuczemskyi, 34, said: “We planned to get married but life got in the way. It’s tough, especially with Autumn. They were so close.

“Because she’s only two she is finding it hard to understand what’s happened. She still cries for her mummy, especially at night.

“Having to deal with everything, grieve and look after her at the same time and make sure she has everything she needs is extremely difficult.

“I know a lot of people would feel angry [with the driver] but I’ve got my daughter to focus on.”

A 67-year-old man has been arrested and released on bail for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident on 22 September.

Becky was pushing her daughter in a pram heading towards a local farm shop when the lorry hit her on Station Road in their village of Willingham, Cambridgeshire, at 11.20am.

“An eyewitness saw that just as the lorry hit Becky she pushed Autumn out of the way in the pram,” Mr Tuczemskyi said.

“Otherwise the pram would have been swept up with the lorry.

“They then tended to Becky and made sure Autumn couldn’t see what was happening.

“The eyewitness’s partner then came out and took Autumn to the other side of the road and made sure she was happy and playing.”

The first Mr Tuczemskyi heard of the incident was when he got a notification from his digital doorbell showing the police standing on his doorstep.

Mr Tuczemskyi, who works in marketing, was out of the country at a conference when the incident happened.

After not being able to contact Rebecca he asked her father to go and check on her.

The police finally got hold of her father and redirected him to the hospital where she had been taken via air ambulance.

Thanks to Rebecca their only daughter Autumn came away from the incident uninjured.

Rebecca died three weeks later on 16 October of traumatic brain injury in the Neuro ICU of Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridgeshire.

Rebecca bounces Autumn on her knee at their home in Willignham, Cambridgeshire (Chris Tuczemskyi/SWNS)
Rebecca bounces Autumn on her knee at their home in Willignham, Cambridgeshire (Chris Tuczemskyi/SWNS)

The last exchange Mr Tuczemskyi and Rebecca had together were texts about whether they should get fish and chips for dinner.

He is now raising funds to donate to the East Anglian Air Ambulance and Neuro ICU, the staff of which had become “like family” in the three weeks the family spent there.

Mr Tuczemskyi has already reached almost £4,000 over his £10,000 goal on the GoFundMe page for his wife.

He said: “What happened shows how cruel and horrid life can be.

“Then when you get strangers, friends and colleagues donating, especially at a time when everyone is trying to save, it means a lot.

“The Neuro ICU staff were like family, some came to the funeral.

“When we cried, they cried. They did everything possible to bring Becky back to us.”

He now intends to keep going to raise as much money as possible and will also be creating a memorial bench in memory of Becky in Willingham Community Orchard.

He said they have never been a family that would ask for money but aims to raise more for a trust fund for Autumn.

Of the fundraiser, Mr Tuczemskyi wrote: “This will be for Autumn for when she’s 18.

“She will be encouraged to use it to follow in her mummy’s footsteps of travelling around the world, amongst other amazing things.

“No amount of money could replace the hole Becky’s passing will leave in our beautiful daughter’s life, but I hope it can in some way help her feel closer to her mummy.”