Former councillor ‘killed in hit-and-run’ after King Tut trip

John Traynor was a councillor in Cleveleys until 2007
John Traynor was a councillor in Cleveleys until 2007

A former councillor and loving family man was killed in a hit-and-run smash after visiting the famous Valley of the Kings in Egypt, it has today emerged.

John Traynor had emergency surgery following the crash, which happened on Friday following a sight-seeing trip to Tutankhamun’s tomb, but later died in hospital.

The Valley of the Kings in Egypt, where Mr Traynor and his long-term partner Julie visited

The Valley of the Kings in Egypt, where Mr Traynor and his long-term partner Julie visited

The 64-year-old’s heartbroken family today paid tribute to the popular civil servant, who represented the Cleveleys Park ward until 2007 and remained deeply involved with local politics.

His son Damien said: “He was there for everybody. If you needed him, he would be there.

“I probably took him for granted a bit. I never realised how much he did until he is no longer here. He was my mate more than my dad.”

Mr Traynor had flown out to Egypt on Friday, November 11 with his long-term partner Julie Galbraith, with the pair staying at the popular beach resort of Hurghada for a two-week break.

Mr Traynor's devastated son Damien said: 'He was my mate more than my dad'.

Mr Traynor's devastated son Damien said: 'He was my mate more than my dad'.

They hired a car, as well as a driver and guide, before making the 190-mile journey to the Valley of the Kings, where they spent the day taking in the local culture.

Damien said they had just set off on the drive back through the desert when a lorry smashed into the passenger side of the car, where John was sitting, and drove off.

Its driver has yet to be traced by local police.

“Julie was asleep so details are tricky,” Damien added. “All she heard was my dad shouting: ‘We are going to crash’.”

All four people inside the car were taken to Luxor International Hospital, with Mr Traynor bearing the brunt of the impact.

“They operated and I got a call saying he was stable in the intensive care unit,” Damien said. “But then I got another call later from Julie saying he had died. We still don’t know the official cause of death.”

The driver and the guide suffered serious injuries, while Julie, who is now recovering at home, escaped with minor injuries.

Mr Traynor’s body is expected to be repatriated to the UK on Thursday, Damien said, while funeral details have yet to be arranged.

The death of the Labour stalwart, who worked for the Department of Work and Pensions at Norcross, has left his colleagues, family, and friends devastated.

The news was announced over the weekend by the Thornton Cleveleys Labour group, which paid tribute to a ‘proud socialist who wore his heart on his sleeve’.

In a statement, issued on Saturday, the group said: “He will be missed by all in our branch, and our thoughts are with Julie and family at this very sad time.”

Mr Traynor lost his seat on the council in 2007, and last stood in the local elections last year, when Conservatives Ian Amos and Christine Amos were elected.

As well as Damien and Julie, Mr Traynor, from Cleveleys, was survived by his other children Anthony and Anna, six grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and numerous extended family members.