Shul leader crushed by wife in car

By Marcus Dysch and Faga Speker, October 30, 2008
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A former synagogue president was seriously injured when his wife accidentally reversed her car into him, crushing him against a wall.

Retired dentist David Franks, 71, suffered head injuries when he became trapped as his wife, Elizabeth, attempted to back her Honda out of a garage at their home in Gosforth, Newcastle on Saturday.

He is a former president of Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation and is a director of North East Jewish Community Services.

PC Colin Newman, of Northumbria Police said: "It appears that an elderly couple were getting their car out of the garage when it rolled back and carried the man away."

As we went to press, Mr Franks was said to be in a stable condition at Newcastle General Hospital.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Newcastle Synagogue's Rabbi Dovid Lewis said: "Thank God, he is getting a lot better and hopefully he should be out of hospital in a few days."

John Jane, porter at the block of flats where the couple live, said: "It seems as though it was a freak accident. I don't know how it happened. Mr Franks is always friendly and approachable. He is a fantastic person. I've known him for almost 10 years and they have lived here for more than 20 years. It is just so sad."

Neighbour Margaret Byers said: "He is a very nice man and his wife is lovely too."

Mr Franks is also chairman of the flats' residents' association and maintenance company.

    Last updated: 10:44am, October 30 2008