Widow misses husband’s funeral due to extra-large chair

A GRANDMOTHER was left grieving at home while her late husband was cremated - because her extra-wide wheelchair could not fit into a taxi booked to take her to the service.

Joan Potts, 75, has been unable to walk since having her left leg amputated after a road accident last year.

But because of her wheelchair’s dimensions, the taxi was unable to take her to Sheffield’s Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium for the funeral of husband Graham, 76.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mrs Potts, who met her husband in 1954 when she was a cinema usherette and he was in the Army, said: “It was terrible to miss Graham’s funeral,.

“I’d been married to Graham 54 years and couldn’t even get the chance to say a proper goodbye.”

Paul Potts, one of the couple’s two sons, stayed with his mother in Millhouses, Sheffield, to comfort her as the funeral took place. The service was attended by the rest of the family.

Mr Potts said: “There needs to be more clarity about what types of wheelchairs taxis can take.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“My mum had not used a taxi since she was injured but, because it was advertised as wheelchair accessible, she thought it would be all right.

“The whole family is upset and the undertaker couldn’t believe what happened.”

He said that various attempts were made to get his mother into the taxi, provided by Sheffield’s City Taxis and booked two weeks ahead.

But the task had to be abandoned and the funeral could not be delayed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Kevin Flint, City Taxis operations manager, said: “Our driver arrived at the pre-booked time with the largest style of vehicle licensed for the transport of wheelchair users.

“By coincidence, the driver was a friend of Mrs Potts’ family, and made every effort to load Mrs Potts and her wheelchair into his vehicle safely.

“Unfortunately, due to the large dimensions of the wheelchair, the driver was unable to load the chair safely.”

Related topics: