Wednesday 21 March 2018

'I feel like I'm in a bad dream and hopefully I will wake up tomorrow' - widow of man swept away by flood water

Ivan Vaughan performing in recent years
Ivan Vaughan performing in recent years

Kate McCurry

The heartbroken widow of a musician who died after he was swept away by flood water says she feels like she is trapped in a bad dream.

Ivan Vaughan's body was found by rescuers in a flooded cross-border road at Corraghdown, Glaslough, near his home in Caledon, Co Tyrone.

The 70-year-old, who was a well-known former showband singer, was returning home from a gig on Sunday night when his car got stuck.

It is believed he was swept away by the flood after getting out of his car. His body was found about 10 metres from his vehicle.

Originally from Dungannon, Ivan went under the stage name of Simon Scott and performed with a number of groups including the Plattermen during the 1960s and 1970s.

His wife of 35 years, Letitia Vaughan, visited the scene where his body was found.

She explained that the water was so deep she could only see the top of his car and compared it to a lake.

The Belfast woman, whose first husband died from cancer, said she knew something was seriously wrong when he failed to return home.

"I was extremely worried about him when he didn't come home and kept expecting to hear his car, because you could set a clock by him coming back after a gig," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"He was just unlucky. I can't believe it has happened. I feel like I'm in a bad dream and hopefully I will wake up tomorrow.

"Unfortunately, I lost my first husband when he was 41 after he had cancer, so I have been through this whole process before.

"It doesn't make it any easier as far as emotions are concerned, but I know all the things that I need to think of that need to be done and those who need to be contacted."

She described the father-of one as a "charmer".

"He loved his music and I never saw him in the evenings because he disappeared into his music room and listened and played music all evening and learned songs.

"When he walked past the window and I waved goodbye to him on Sunday, little did I know that he would never be back.

"It's not a nice way to go, it could have been kinder.

"He was a very likeable, charming man and a great singer and entertainer.

"His first love was definitely his music. He would have been lost without his music and there was no way he would retire from his singing.

"He loved all sorts of music, but he especially loved Neil Diamond."

Ivan's brother John, who lives in Dungannon, said his love for performing never left him.

"He was my best buddy and I went everywhere with him when he was travelling and touring with his music," he said.

"I was supposed to go with him on Sunday night. He was a great man and still loved his music and loved travelling about singing.

"He recently started to record a tribute album to George Jones."

Belfast Telegraph

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