Homeless man dies after collapsing in the shadow of Hilton hotel
20th November 2019

Homeless man dies after collapsing in the shadow of Hilton hotel after sub-zero night on the streets – the FIFTH person to die as freezing temperatures and fog blanket Britain

  • Pedestrian killed by truck on M4 westbound between Langley and Slough in Berkshire at about 3.45am
  • Another walker is then killed an hour later by HGV at 4.45am on the A34 near Winchester in Hampshire
  • Helen Maider, 89, went missing in cold weather at 6am in Scotland before being found dead this afternoon
  • Lithuanian rough sleeper aged 57 was found dead inside a tent at 9.45am in Wakefield in West Yorkshire 
  • Chill blowing from the North Pole saw temperatures in Aberdeenshire drop to -9.9C (16.5F) overnight  

A homeless man died after collapsing in the shadow of a Hilton hotel after a sub-zero night on the streets, making him the fifth person to die as freezing temperatures and fog blankets Britain.  

The rough sleeper was found in an alleyway next to the Nottingham city centre establishment in the East Midlands. 

Paramedics raced to the scene at 8.20am on Tuesday after the man collapsed. He was pronounced dead at Queen’s Medical Centre and police say there is nothing suspicious about the tragedy. 

Pictured: Police at the scene outside the Hilton in Nottingham on Tuesday, where a homeless man collapsed in the alleyway and died after being taken to hospital 

The man collapsed in the shadow of the Hilton Hotel in Nottinham city centre (pictured, police at the scene on Tuesday after the rough sleeper was taken to hospital) 

A father-of-three, also homeless, is thought to have frozen to death in his tent overnight while an elderly woman who had gone missing was found dead this afternoon after two pedestrians died in collisions with trucks on fog-hit roads as temperatures fell to -10C in Britain.

The 57-year-old Lithuanian rough sleeper, known to friends only as ‘Elephant’ because of his large nose, was found dead inside a tent in Wakefield in West Yorkshire, where he lived after moving around cities in the North.

In Scotland, a body was found early this afternoon in the search for Helen Maider, 89, who went missing in the cold weather in the early hours in Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire, and was last seen alive at 6am.

The body of Helen Maider was found in East Dunbartonshire after she went missing in the cold weather early this morning

Earlier, a male pedestrian was hit and thrown across the M4 between Langley and Slough in Berkshire at about 3.45am, with police closing it for almost six hours. They were hit between the hard shoulder and the first lane, with Thames Valley Police saying ‘driving conditions at the time were foggy and visibility was poor’.

One hour later, another man was knocked down and killed by an HGV on the A34 near Winchester at 4.45am – with Hampshire Constabulary now probing whether the foggy conditions were also to blame. The man was later identified as a 19-year-old from Billericay, Essex.

An ‘Arctic swell’ blowing from the North Pole into the UK saw temperatures at Braemar in Aberdeenshire fall to -9.9C (14F) overnight, making it the coldest night of autumn so far for the UK.

In Scotland, Ms Maider was last seen at about 6am in Bishopbriggs. Sergeant Adam Hookway said officers and her family had been concerned due to the cold weather while Ms Maider had ‘started to have issues with her memory’.

Police confirmed this afternoon that a body had been found in Bishopbriggs but it had not been formally identified. A spokesman said: ‘Her family has been informed and the death is not being treated as suspicious.’

In Wakefield, Elephant’s friend and fellow rough sleeper David Flowers, 47, told how he had three grown up children and parents back in Lithuania, where he had served in the Army.

He added: ‘He was a popular fella and a lot of local people knew him. I know a woman had stolen a tarpaulin that covered his tent and used to keep it warmer. It was bitterly cold last night. He has been found in his tent.

‘He’s thought to have died from hypothermia. He was a really, really good man and never did anything bad to anybody. Elephant didn’t claim any benefits, he did odd jobs and begged for money. It is really sad that.’ 

West Yorkshire Police at the scene in Wakefield after a former soldier and homeless man died overnight in his tent

It was the coldest night of the year so far (left), and the morning rush hour brought sub-zero temperatures in places (right)

The 57-year-old Lithuanian rough sleeper, who was known as ‘Elephant’, was found dead inside a tent in Wakefield today

Deer in a frost-covered scene at Richmond Park in South West London on a bright and freezing autumn morning today

Icicles on a frozen river near Inverness this morning as temperatures in the Scottish Highlands fell to -10C last night

Mr Flowers would see Elephant on a daily basis and spent many hours with him yesterday afternoon. He regrets not checking Elephant’s tent yesterday evening after he failed to meet up near the cathedral. 

West Yorkshire Police told MailOnline that officers were called to reports of a body found on Kirkgate in the city just after 9.45am today, and believe there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Elsewhere, Southeastern railway warned commuters in South East London and Kent that some trains would be cancelled, delayed or revised due to ‘slippery rails’ after wet leaves were squashed onto the tracks by train wheels.

Some of the most extensive fog is through the Thames Valley today amid tricky driving conditions on the M4 west of London

Rowers take to the River Cam in Cambridge this morning on a misty and frosty start to the day

A woman plays with her dog in Liverpool this morning on a frosty start to the day at Calderstones Park

People out walking their dogs in Cambridge this morning on a cold start to the day in the city

A woman scrapes ice off her Mini car this morning on a frosty start to the day in Liverpool this morning

Nine of the 10 coldest locations overnight were north of the border, but the coldest location in England was Redesdale Camp in Northumberland, where the temperature was recorded at -7.1C (19.2F).

During rush-hour, drivers from Brighton to Manchester had to contend with lower visibility and iced-up cars. According to the Met Office, the freezing fog will ‘linger’ across parts of England and Wales throughout the day.

Meteorologist Grahame Madge said: ‘It’s going to clear, but it might be stubborn to clear in some places, and then eager to re-form. We have weather warnings out until 11am but in some places it could persist more than that.’

The freezing fog hung around throughout this morning’s rush-hour. North West Motorway Police said it had received reports of a ‘few’ accidents, adding: ‘the gritters have worked tirelessly all night, but it’s still icy out there.’

They also offered some safety tips for motorists, suggesting people drive on main roads, rather than quieter rural routes, and use a cigarette lighter to warm a key if the locks are frozen.

Mr Madge said: ‘Fog is always a driving hazard, and people need to take account of that when they are travelling.’

A cold start to the day in Cambridge this morning where temperatures will be in single figures throughout the day

Commuters wrap up warm as they walk over London Bridge in the capital this morning on another cold autumnal day

Commuters wait in the cold for information on trains at Abbey Wood station in South East London this morning

Southeastern commuters were left unimpressed by the delays faced on the network in South East London and Kent today

He warned drivers not to become complacent if they have passed through a clear area, saying ‘Don’t think the next 10 miles will be free of fog.’  Temperatures throughout the day will struggle to reach double figures.

Southampton is predicted a maximum high of 10C-11C (50F-51.8F), but only 8C (46.4F) is expected in London, 6C-8C (42.8F-46.4F) in Norwich, 5C-7C (41F-44.6F) in Nottingham, and 4C-5C (39.2F-41F) in Aberdeen.

Temperatures will fall again overnight tonight, but Mr Madge could not say ‘whether they will drop to the levels they did last night’.

He added: ‘We have a weather front moving in from the west that’s going to stall and bring cloud and rain. But for the east the cold conditions are going to persist.’

Public Health England has warned people to look out for others who may be vulnerable in the chilly weather. Consultant Dr Emer O’Connell said: ‘Older people and those with heart and lung problems are at risk of getting sick in cold weather.’ 

Commuters are seen wearing hats and scarves as they cross London Bridge after the temperature dropped this morning

Sunrise over Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast on the River Thames on a cold and frosty morning in London today

Commuters walk in the cold weather over London bridge in the capital this morning after temperatures fell below freezing

A cold and foggy morning over Burton Dassett Hills Country Park in Warwickshire this morning

North Yorkshire Police tweeted this image of their icy vehicle as the force warned others to take care today 

The very cold night was due to an area of high pressure which is also bringing dry but chilly conditions by day – a respite from recent torrential rain which caused flooding in Yorkshire and the Midlands.

The Met Office warned of fog in parts of England today

Alex Burkill, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: ‘The UK is sandwiched between two low-pressure systems which is allowing a northerly airflow. 

‘The jet stream is also south of the UK which is helping air to come in from this direction.

‘Particularly in areas that have had severe flooding in the last week or so, it’s looking like a largely dry week.’  

Further wet weather is not expected until Thursday, when cloud and some patchy rain moves into North West England.

Further south, there could be showers or longer spells of rain on Thursday and temperatures are due to become milder.

Unsettled weather is due to continue through the weekend and into next week, with spells of wind and rain – which could turn wintry on high ground in Northern England and North Wales.

Cold but dry and sunny weather, with frost and fog at night, is expected to return at the start of December, the Met Office said. 

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