A NORTHUMBERLAND man with a passion for cars died as he made his way to his dream job, his distraught family revealed last night.
Robert Blakey, 27, of Whittingham, near Alnwick, was killed when his car hit a tree on the A697 near Longframlington on Monday night.
Robert’s mother Eileen Blakey, a former mayor of Alnwick, and his sister Mykel last night revealed how he been travelling to Nissan at Sunderland, where he had worked in the bodyshop, for a night shift when the accident happened.
The pair told how it had been Robert’s “dream job” and how “it made his day the day he got it.”
Robert was “as happy as Larry working with cars all day” and although his contract was coming to an end, he was “really looking forward” to it being renewed.
Mykel, 34, revealed how Robert had “bounded out the house his usual happy self” on Monday night.
Eileen, 61, of Clayport Mews, Alnwick, paid tribute to her son, who she said was happy and always wore his trademark grin. He loved to joke and play tricks.
Robert was also practical and often did odd jobs for her at her Alnwick home and was a hard worker, who set himself goals and achieved them.
She said: “He was a lovely boy, a loveable boy and everyone loved him.
“He is a huge hole in the family’s life from now on.
“It is hard to envision life in the future without him.”
Robert was born at Ashington and grew up at Whittingham with his mum and dad David, 65, – with whom he still lived at Tower Side – sisters Mykel and Jacqui, 33, and brother Richard, 28.
He went to Whittingham First School, Glendale Middle at Wooler and finally Duchess’s Community High at Alnwick.
After school, Robert worked in the kitchen at the Alnwick Garden Pavilion and at the Tankerville Arms at Wooler, before taking the job at Nissan.
Robert’s love of cars was said to be the “be all and end all of his life.”
It had seen him attend touring events at the Croft circuit in Yorkshire.
He had recently got to drive his dream cars a Mitsubishi Evo and a Subaru Impreza on a race track there, and “absolutely adored it.”
Robert had a Toyota Celica as a weekend car which he was in the process of restoring, as well as a Rover 25, which he was driving when he was killed, to travel to and from work.
Robert had been with girlfriend Rachel Ashley since February and was said to be “absolutely besotted.”
He also doted on his niece and nephew, Mykel’s children, who “really adored” him.
The family is in the process of arranging a cremation, in line with Robert’s wishes.
Tributes have flooded in on social networking site Facebook with the page RIP Robert Blakey having attracted 185 likes.
His death follows a number of other accidents on the A697 north of Morpeth in recent times, including other fatal collisions. These have prompted calls for urgent action to improve safety on the road, such as mobile speed cameras or other traffic calming measures.
Northumbria Police is still appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash to contact them on 101 ext 69191.