THE 14-year-old son of a “hero” police traffic officer who died as he helped a stranded motorist on a motorway hard shoulder was in tears today as he followed his father’s coffin at his funeral service.
Ben Goodlad clutched the white-topped police cap of Pc Mark Goodlad, 41, as he walked into Wakefield Cathedral today, past an honour guard of scores of the officer’s colleagues from West Yorkshire Police.
The misty centre of Wakefield came to a stop as the funeral cortege, which was led by police motorcyclists and horses, drew up outside the cathedral, between lines of officers.
Ben and Pc Goodlad’s widow, Helen, travelled behind the hearse in a marked police traffic car.
Members of the public joined the lines of police outside as the family followed the coffin through the main doors of the cathedral.
Among the officers outside was West Yorkshire Police’s chief constable Sir Norman Bettison who also read a eulogy at the packed service.
Sir Norman said the dedication Pc Goodlad showed on October 24, when he died as he helped a woman who was stranded on the hard shoulder of the M1 near Wakefield, was typical of him.
He told the congregation: “He would put on his uniform and the cap that now sits on his coffin, and go out to face risk, threat and harm wherever they arose.
“After a gruelling, exhausting night shift he would do it all over again the following day.
“That is what police officers, special constables and PCSOs do the length and breadth of this magnificent force and that is why I am able to say that it is my honour to speak today about our departed colleague Mark Goodlad.
“He stands for what is best in all of us.
“We shouldn’t define heroes by the way they die but recognise them instead by the way they lived their lives.
“On that basis, Mark is a hero.”
Pc Goodlad died when an orange Scania articulated heavy goods vehicle hit a marked BMW X5 police car and a grey Suzuki Swift on the southbound carriageway.
The police car and the Suzuki were both stationary on the hard shoulder.
Pc Goodlad was between the two vehicles, helping the 51-year-old female Suzuki driver. The woman suffered minor injuries in the incident.
A 44-year-old lorry driver, from the Oldham area, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving following the accident and later bailed pending further inquiries.