Wife grieves after industrial accident kills father of five

By SULAIMAN ABDUR-RAHMAN Published October 13, 2009   MOUNT LAUREL — A Burlington City father of five died yesterday afternoon when a bus he was tuning up to ship to Africa fell on him during an industrial accident, according to Mount Laurel police and the man’s family.   Edward T. Lambes Sr., who would have turned 44 on Election Day, was performing mechanical work under the retired vehicle when it fell on his body, trapping him underneath, police said.   Emergency officials rushed to the 100 block of Elbo Lane to lift the bus off of Lambes’ body, but medics pronounced him dead at the scene not long after the 1:24 p.m. incident, police said.   “I just can’t believe it,” said the victim’s grieving wife, Joanne Lambes, 43, of Burlington City. “I think I’m gonna wake up and it’s just a dream.”   Married to him for the last 24 years, Joanne Lambes said her late husband was a loving family man who liked to play poker and string tunes on his guitar.   “He always was cracking jokes. … He always was joking around with the kids,” she told The Trentonian last night, finding the strength to speak as she held back tears. “He really loved his kids, loved his family.”   The couple had four sons and one daughter. The youngest is 10 and the oldest will turn 23 on Sunday, “and his dad won’t be here,” the wife said.   She said the last time she saw her husband was around 9 a.m. when Edward gave her a cup of coffee and left for work.   “He always went and got me a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee,” Lambes said. “He said, ‘There’s your coffee, and I love you.’ That was it.” Then in the early afternoon Burlington Township police went to the wife’s jobsite and informed her of her husband’s passing, she said.   “The police, they didn’t let me drive. They drove me home. … When we arrived on the street, Burlington City officers were here. They were all very good,” Lambes said.   Also, “The neighbors have been so good. Every single neighbor has been here. They’re just like family. They all just could not believe it. They’ve been here the whole time.”   Edward Lambes was a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies, and he loved carving pumpkins with the family on Halloween, the family said. In fact, a Burlington City neighbor on Saturday made plans to host a neighborhood Halloween cookout party. “My husband, thats all he’s been talking about since Saturday,” Joanne Lambes said.   She said the coroner had possession of Edward’s body following yesterday’s tragedy and would perform a medical exam sometime today.   Edward Lambes was a mechanic, and he was working at his side job in Mount Laurel when the accident occurred, his wife said. She said her husband was working on the retired bus, getting it ready to be shipped to Africa so that it could be used for transportation over there.   “He was a good father, a good guy, everybody liked him,” said Anthony Lambes, the victim’s 18-year-old son.

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