Tributes paid to a loving father

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A GOOD and unique man who was deeply loved by his many, many friends – that's how a devoted father who died in an accident in Scotland will be remembered, according to his family.

David Carney, 37, died from head injuries two days after slipping and falling while walking in Ben Nevis in the Highlands.

He and his fiancee, Rachel Jones, were engaged at Christmas and they lived in Churwell with their baby son, nine-month-old Jack.

Rachel, 35, has paid tribute to her partner, saying he was a wonderful father who loved life and lived it to the full.

A former pupil of St Peter's C of E Primary School and Bruntcliffe High, David was a hydraulics engineer for a company in Bradford where he had worked for 11 years.

"He was a good person and he was a unique guy," Rachel said.

"He didn't have a bad bone in his body. He was just always happy, he was never in a mood and always had a smile on his face."

David was very active and loved many different sports. He regularly went mountain biking, loved snowboarding and played water polo.

"He did enjoy life and he lived it to the full," Rachel said. "After Jack was born a lot of these things had to be curtailed because he did not have the time. "But he had lots of friends from his different hobbies. He liked watching football and rugby but was more into biking and other sports. He was very outdoorsy but then he was brought up like that."

Rachel and David had been together for six years, although they had known each other as friends for 10 years before that.

"I used to work in a pub in Gildersome and Dave and his friends used to go in so we got to know them all through that," Rachel said.

"We got together as a couple because we had some mutual friends who went to Australia and they had a leaving do at Gildersome Cricket Club. He asked me if I wanted to go for tea, or something ridiculous like that, and we were together ever since."

The couple became engaged at Christmas and were planning on getting married, possibly next year.

Said Rachel: ""He was a very hands-on father and he was brilliant with Jack. It's just so sad for Jack and it's so sad for Dave. Jack's at the age where everything about him is getting interesting and Dave's going to miss all that."

David had been walking on Ben Nevis with a friend when he slipped and fell, hitting his head on a rock.

Mountain rescue were called and an RAF helictoper transported David to hospital in Fort William. He was stabilised and moved to hospital in Glasgow but there another scan revealed the damage to his brain was more serious than first realised. An operation proved unsuccessful and his injuries proved too severe for him to survive.

David's condition deteriorated and after being taken off a ventilator he died two days after the accident with his family by his side.

If Rachel can take any comfort at all from the tragedy it is that David was on the organ donor register and his kidneys and heart have been used to save other lives.

"I knew he had a card and we had discussed it but I didn't realise he was registered online as well," she said. “His family were happy for his organs to be donated and we know it’s what he wanted.”

Another comfort is the realisation of the deep affection he was held in by everyone who knew him.

“He was very much loved by all his friends and it’s a bit of a cliche but he was a really good person and everyone loved him to bits,” Rachel said.

“He was one of life’s good guys and he will be really missed. Everyone who knew him had a story to tell and that’s great. He did have so many friends and it’s all a comfort.”

David’s funeral will be held at St Peter’s, Morley - the church where he was christened - on Thursday at 12.15pm followed by private cremation at Rawdon.

Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to Lochaber Mountain Rescue.

David leaves his partner Rachel, son Jack, parents Alan and Anne and brother Jonathan.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Christine Bennett of Bennets of Morley.