Ex-mayor’s son killed in car crash on A697

Robert  Blakey
Robert Blakey

A former mayor of Alnwick has spoken of her devastation after her son died in a car crash on the A697.

Tributes have been paid to ‘popular’ and ‘lovable’ Henry Robert Blakey, known to his friends and family as Robert, following his death on Monday evening.

Eileen Blakey

Eileen Blakey

The 27-year-old, from Whittingham, was killed when his Rover 25 came off the road, near Longframlington, and collided with a tree.

The news has shocked and devastated those who knew the former Duchess’s Community High School pupil.

Speaking yesterday, Eileen Blakey spoke fondly of her son, who she described as ‘my baby’.

“We are just devastated. Everyone loved Rob, and I am not just saying that as a mum,” she said. “He was a joker and such a lovely boy.

“He was lovable, honest, popular and well-liked.”

Robert also leaves behind father David and siblings Mykel, Jacqui and Richard.

He was in a steady relationship with Rachel Ashley.

Robert had a passion for cars and worked at Nissan in Sunderland.

His death has caused an outpouring of grief and mourners have left heart-warming messages of condolence on Facebook. One touching tribute described Robert as ‘one of a kind’ and ‘a true legend’.

Another said that ‘he really will be missed by all’.

Eileen told the Gazette that the family are grateful for everyone’s best wishes.

Robert’s death comes at a time when campaigners are calling for safety improvements on the A697, following a series of fatalities.

Last month, pensioners Ronald and Sheila Smailes were killed when their Ford Focus collided with a Mazda, near the New Moor House crossroads.

In the summer, there were three accidents in nine days between Heighley Gate and Longframlington, resulting in two other deaths.

Coun Glen Sanderson, ward member for Chevington with Longhorsley, has been vocal in the need for action on what he has described as a dangerous road.

He said: “It brings the whole need to act quickly into even sharper focus. It is another tragedy for people involved and their families.

“It is our duty to do the best we can, as quickly as we can, to spend money and effort on improving this road.”

Police received a report of the collision at 10.24pm on Monday. They are continuing to investigate the incident and are appealing to any witnesses to contact them on 101, ext 69191.

Police, fire and paramedics attended but Robert was pronounced dead at the scene.