Tributes to ex-soldier killed in road crash

Colin Barker
Colin Barker

A FORMER soldier from Scarborough has been tragically killed in a head-on crash.

Colin Barker, 46, died at the scene after his taxi was in collision with an 18-ton lorry at an accident blackspot in Truro, Cornwall at around 5.30pm on Friday.

Mr Barker had only recently moved to Cornwall after spending most of his life in Scarborough.

His twin brother Gavin spoke to the Evening News about his brother and “best mate”, and described the moment the family received the crushing news.

“We received a phone call at about 11am. We just jumped straight in the car and drove down to Cornwall,” said Gavin, who faced an unenviable nine-hour drive to Cornwall along with his distraught parents Ruth and Dennis.

Tragedy nearly struck the family for a second time in a day, as they missed the M5 pile-up, which killed seven people, by a matter of minutes.

“If we had stopped to get a cup of coffee then we would have been involved, I’m positive,” said Gavin.

Plans have now been put in place for Mr Barker’s body to be returned to Scarborough for cremation. Gavin said: “Colin just loved Scarborough, especially the football team.

“Our grandad was the former groundsman at the old ground, and he got us into it. Even when he moved down there, he would text me every Saturday without fail asking what the score was.”

Scarborough Town held a minute’s silence at last night’s game with Pickering for Mr Barker, and the players donned black armbands in his memory.

Vice-chairman of Scarborough Town Nigel Wood called Mr Barker “one of life’s nice guys”, saying: “He was well thought of by everyone at the club.

“He was a lovely, unassuming quiet guy, and, to be honest, you don’t get many supporters like him any more who are so loyal.

“When he moved away I didn’t get to see him as much as I would have liked, but I will personally miss him loads.”

Football was one of the brothers’ biggest shared passions, but it certainly wasn’t the only thing they shared, said Gavin.

“Ever since we were little, we have literally done everything together. We were side by side through our childhood and past that.

“We served in the army together, we were lorry drivers and we were both taxi drivers.

“It wasn’t a deliberate thing, we were just that close that we both wanted to do the same things.”

After Gavin persuaded him to join the army, they served together in Germany, with Mr Barker a Private and his twin brother as his Corporal.

He said his brother was “proud” of his army past, and he said that he would have stood alongside him at Oliver’s Mount at the weekend for the Remembrance Sunday service.

Gavin has said that he already has an unconventional tribute planned for his brother. He has found a tattooist in Bridlington who has agreed to use some of his remains to create a tattoo in memory of him.

The memorial service will take place at the Salvation Army citadel on Friday November 21 at 12.15, followed by a cremation at Woodlands.

A request has been made for family flowers only, and with donations in memory of Mr Barker to be made to the Royal British Legion or to the Salvation Army.

Mr Barker is also survived by his sisters Andrea and Tracey.