Robbed of a father

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Young man killed in car crash was turning his life around for the sake of his two young daughters

A YOUNG Longridge father who died in a horrific car crash was this week described as a devoted family man by his grief-stricken partner.

Paul Hayhurst was only minutes away from his home on Whittingham Road when the car he was a passenger in smashed into trees and gardens. The 24-year-old father-of-two was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver was left with serious injuries.

This week Paul Hayhurst's partner Karina told how he had been getting his life back on track after brushes with the police - and how his love of his two baby daughters, Elle and Leah, had been the inspiration to mend his ways.

Karina said she and the girls, Elle, aged 13 months, and Leah, five months, had been waiting at home for Paul to return last Wednesday night after he'd been out to watch Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Speaking from the Chipping home of Paul's mother, Mrs Vicky Timbrell, on Wednesday, Karina said the family was still trying to come to terms with the tragedy.

She said that Paul had really turned his life round since he was served with an ASBO (anti social behaviour order) a year ago. The order had banned him from pubs and clubs in Ribble Valley because of his reputation for drink-fuelled offending.

But Karina said that since then Paul had got himself a steady job and was determined to build his future around his family.

"Paul himself felt the ASBO was a good idea for him and he really calmed down," said Karina. She admitted that he had previously been 'a bit of a lad', but added: "The birth of his daughters made a big difference, they were the making of him.

"He would do anything for them - he got his job with United Utilities so that he was the breadwinner for the family. He was old-fashioned that way and didn't want me to work, but be at home as a full-time mum looking after the girls."

Paul - who was always known as 'Yok' to his friends - was "full of character, wanting to make everyone laugh'' said Karina.

He had also been learning to drive, having passed his theory test on May 18 and had been put in for a full test by his instructor.

"He was so looking forward to being able to drive," said Karina, "so that he could take us to the shops and on outings to the zoo and other family

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Paul, the third of four children, was remembered by his mum as a lively lad growing up in Chipping, attending Brabins primary and Longridge High schools, looking on the whole of Chipping area as 'his big back garden.'

"Gangs of the lads, all pals, would roam the fields and hills after packing themselves butties, pop and crisps, only coming home at tea-time when they were hungry again," Mrs Timbrell recalls.

Watching her granddaughter, Elle, attempting to sing, like her father did, into a toy karaoke machine, she pledged a solid family backing for Karina, and keeping to Paul's wishes for his family.

"They will want for nothing," said Mrs Timbrell.

* A date for Paul Hayhurst's funeral will be fixed after a second post mortem has been carried out, following one already held on the order of the coroner.

* At the time of going to press, police had still not confirmed the identity of the driver of the car involved in the accident, another 24-year-old Longridge man, who remained in hospital this week. A police spokesman said his injuries were serious and he was in a "stable condition".

He said investigations were continuing into the cause of the accident at 11.30pm last Wednesday. Some witnesses have come forward, but police are still appealing for anyone who might have seen the accident or witnessed the manner in which the car was being driven prior to the accident, to contact them.

* Whittingham Road witnessed another accident on Tuesday afternoon.

Two vehicles were involved in a collision only 50 metres from the scene of the fatal accident.

No injuries were reported following the incident involving a Ford Fiesta and BMW Z3 just after 4pm.