'Down-to-earth nice guy' - Tributes to truck driver in Patea crash

Michael Fairclough was found dead in his home. Photo / Facebook
Michael Fairclough was found dead in his home. Photo / Facebook

The truck driver who was found dead after last week's horror triple fatality in Patea was Fonterra driver Michael Fairclough.

Friends have paid tribute on social media to the dead driver, saying he was a "down-to-earth nice guy" and would be sadly missed.

Mr Fairclough's milk tanker and a car collided last Thursday. Three people died in a fireball explosion which shocked and horrified the Taranaki town.

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Police announced yesterday that the driver had been found dead at his home in Stratford and that the death was being referred to the coroner. It is not being treated as suspicious.

Three occupants of the car - brother and sister Cherylene and John Bayne and Chantelle Giles - were killed.

Those who posted messages of tribute to the Fonterra driver included his cousin Sarah Clements.

She wrote Mr Fairclough was a man who always had time for others and would remembered for his cheerful disposition.

"A great cousin who always had time for others. You will be remembered for the good times and always had a big smiley face. A great man who will never be forgotten."

Another friend Michelle Kennard posted: "RIP Mike. You will be sadly missed but never forgotten."

The wreckage from the crash which claimed three lives. Photo / Bevan Conley, Wanganui Chronicle
The wreckage from the crash which claimed three lives. Photo / Bevan Conley, Wanganui Chronicle

Work colleague Tony Burkitt described him as "one of the most down to earth nicest guys I've ever had the pleasure to meet and work with".

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youth services: (06) 3555 906 (Palmerston North and Levin)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

- NZ Herald

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