Torrington saddened by death of teenager

THE Patron Saint of Happiness is how Torrington mother Lyndsay Brown described her 16-year-old son Daylin, who died in a road accident just outside the town on Friday afternoon. Her words are echoed by many hundreds of tributes on the Facebook social webs

THE Patron Saint of Happiness is how Torrington mother Lyndsay Brown described her 16-year-old son Daylin, who died in a road accident just outside the town on Friday afternoon.

Her words are echoed by many hundreds of tributes on the Facebook social website - more than 1,200 appeared on one alone over the weekend - and by a hedgerow filled with flowers at the scene of the accident, just a mile outside the town.

One of Torrington's most popular young men, Daylin died when the Land Rover he was driving crashed on a country road near the entrance to the Darracott Reservoir at around 4pm on Friday.

His mother told the Gazette: "There is hardly a person in Torrington who did not know him, young or old. He had a heart of gold, he was so generous, caring and loving. You could not go down the street without him waving to people.

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"Daylin packed so much into his 16 years. He was an icon to his age group, the life and soul of the party. Wherever he went he seemed to draw people to him. When you say tributes have flooded in, that is exactly what has happened and this has been a big comfort to us. The family would like to thank everyone. It is so comforting to see how much Daylin was thought of. His legacy is that he has touched so many people's hearts."

Grandmother Rose Beer said: "Daylin would do anything for anyone. He was a character, which is something which is usually only said about people when they are older. He liked to speak in broad Devonshire and countryman Johnny Kingdom was his idol."

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Daylin was a playing member of Torrington Football Club and also played pool and darts locally.

But his biggest love was his work at local business K and J Plant.

Since a young boy diggers and plant were a huge attraction and this work was what he always wanted to do.

After work experience with K and J Plant - during which he gained a special achievement award from his school - Daylin took up full employment there last year and was at work when the accident happened.

Emergency services were called to the scene outside Coombe Farm between Foxes Cross and Great Torrington at 4pm on Friday. Police believe the vehicle may have clipped a hedge and overturned.

The road was completely blocked and Daylin was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is understood that he was entitled to drive the Land Rover under the terms of his tractor licence.

Keith Curtis, MD at K and J, said: "He was a steady driver. We just don't know what went wrong. It is unexplained at the moment.

"Daylin started work experience with us one day a week, then it became two days and three days. He preferred to be here than at school. And we loved to have him here.

"He left school and came here full time. He had exceptional enthusiasm in everything. This is one of the saddest days of the 32-year life of our business. We thought the world of him. Not one member of staff did not like him or had anything bad to say about him. He was like everyone's little brother."

Director Nick Ager added: "Daylin was polite and would do everything to the best of his ability. His enthusiasm shone through and in such a young lad it was refreshing to see that attitude."

Mike Clarke, deputy head teacher at Great Torrington School, said: "The staff and pupils were all deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Daylin's death. He was very well liked by all at Great Torrington School and our sympathies go out to his family.

Daylin's Head of Year, Vicki McCarthy, added: "Daylin had a heart of gold and was always enthusiastic and friendly. He was a big character , respected by his peers and a real people pleaser and entertainer. He liked to make people smile and was a charmer. Daylin was never argumentative or grumpy and he was adored by his tutor group.

"Daylin was very good at working with his hands and very much a role model for those who find academic study a challenge as he worked hard despite the difficulties he had.

"When Daylin said he would do something for you he always did and never let you down. Even after he left he would always wave and came over to see how you were when you saw him in town.

"You knew he was the sort of person who would never be short of friends or things to do. This is a tragic loss for his family, the school and the local community."

Daylin's family has made plans for a funeral at Torrington Parish Church that will include a procession from their home in Calf Street led by a K and J low-loader vehicle carrying the coffin.

But arrangements and the date cannot be finalised at present.

n Police want to speak to the driver of a small blue vehicle that was travelling on the unclassified road from Torrington to Alverdiscott between 15.30 and 16.00 on the day of the incident.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 08452 777444 quoting police ref 594 050210.

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