TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular and hard-working student who was killed in a road accident while returning from a trip into his beloved Northumberland countryside.
Struan Campbell, 21, who was passionate about cycling, hill walking and enjoying the great outdoors, was driving home from a visit to Kielder Forest when he died in the four-vehicle smash on the A697 near Longframlington on Tuesday.
Struan, who was in the fourth year of a masters degree in chemistry at Newcastle University, lived at his family’s home in Swarland, near Alnwick, where he had recently been working in the village post office and general store at weekends and during holidays.
Yesterday, his devastated parents, Angus and Naomi Campbell, said his tragic death had left a hole in their lives which would be impossible to fill. They are grieving Struan’s loss along with his brother Duncan, 25, who has returned home from his job as a doctor of microbiology in Cheshire.
Struan was born in Swarland and attended Felton First School, Chantry Middle and then King Edward VI School in Morpeth before going on to university.
On Tuesday, he and a friend were returning to Swarland from a picnic in Kielder when his Citroen was involved in the accident.
Yesterday, Mr Campbell, 52, the Newcastle-based head of the natural gas division of American shipping company Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG), said his family was in shock.
He said: “Struan had two particular interests, one of which was his brand new car, which he had saved up to buy and was his pride and joy. He was also a very keen cyclist and used to cycle through the forests and down to the coast at Alnmouth.
“He and I used to go hill walking together in the Scottish Highlands and he was interested in wildlife and the countryside generally.
“He was a pleasure to still have living with us and was happy to be a part of village life here in Swarland. He and Duncan were also very close and were on the phone or webcam to each other virtually every day.
“My wife and I are just in shock. We have two great sons and to lose one of them like this is very hard to describe. It is going to leave a hole in our lives that I don’t know how we can fill.”
Mrs Campbell said: “Struan was such an easy-going, gentle-mannered young man with no bad side to him. He was very cheerful and easy to talk to for customers in the shop. He was the type who was always happy to help people, whether it was at work or around the house.
“He was trying to see which direction would be the best for him in terms of a career and was hoping to stay in this area because he loved country life. He and a friend had been for a drive up to Kielder as a bit of a break from studying and were on their way back when the accident happened.”
Brian Sanderson, who runs Swarland post office and shop with his wife Brenda, said: “We took over in July and Struan started with us in September, so he has been instrumental in helping us get established. We trusted him completely and he looked after the shop when we went on holiday.
“He was very conscientious, hard working and reliable and a very nice lad, who got on well with the customers. He is a great loss to us personally and we are very upset.”