A dad-to-be killed in a horrific crash has been described as a “genuine guy” who loved life.
Musician Nathan Gunn died after his red Vauxhall Astra collided with a bus on Friday.
The accident happened at about 6.30pm on the A93 Ballater to Braemar road, at Bridge of Gairn.
Police, fire and ambulance crews raced to the scene but Mr Gunn, who was originally from Thurso, could not be saved.
The 30-year-old was well-known in the music scene both locally and further afield, playing bass for Aberdeen band Estrella alongside his brothers Paul and Luke, and friend Leo McPherson.
He had also been looking forward to becoming a dad, with girlfriend Keren Yule.
It is understood his devastated family were comforting each other back home in Thurso over the weekend.
But scores of tributes flooded in online for the popular bassist, who also worked at the Boat Inn at Aboyne.
Family friend Naomi Smith wrote: “I can’t believe the news, it still hasn’t sunk in yet that you’re gone. You were one of our closest family friends and most certainly one of the most special ones. Thank you for everything you did for us, you will never be forgotten and will have a place in all of our hearts forever. I hope you’re having a rocking time up there and showing everyone up with your pure talent. I hope you’re repairing everything in sight and you’re going to guide us all through this and be showing us how to repair ourselves after your loss. You were such an incredible person, certainly one of a kind. Our family love you so much, thoughts are with the family and your baby.”
Gordon Lockerbie posted: “Rest in peace Nathan, so desperately sad you’re not going to be around anymore, can’t believe I won’t see you again. Smashing guy, kind, witty.”
Julie Smith added: “Can’t believe this sad news, I am just lost for words. You could not have met a more genuine guy – so full of life. Loved this man to the moon and back, as many of us did. He was not only a work colleague, but a dear friend of my family. We are going to miss you, our deepest respects and thoughts are with the families.”
Tracey Forbes also left her tributes, and said: “One of the kindest, sweetest, gentlest men I ever had the privilege to know and to work with. Incredibly talents in so many ways and just so full of life, love and fun. You really were a very special person and it is with deep sadness that I write this message. My thoughts go out to your beautiful girl Keren and to your family and your wee baby still to be born. Keep on rocking Nathan, you lovely, lovely man.”
Ronz Greig posted: “You truly were a star and a gent.”
Staff at the Boat Inn were too upset to speak about the tragedy last night.
But local councillor Peter Argyle described it as a “real tragedy”, and said: “My heart goes out to all those involved who will be dealing with this devastating news.”
Fellow Aboyne councillor Geva Blackett added: “I’m so very sad to hear of another loss of life on our roads, and my heart goes out to the families and friends who I know must be suffering unbearable heartbreak and shock.”
The A93 was closed for 11 hours while collision investigators examined the scene through the night.
Sergeant Peter Henderson, from the roads unit, last night appealed for anyone with information about the tragedy to come forward.
He said: “Sadly the male driver of the Astra died from his injuries and our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy.
“Inquiries are ongoing and we have already spoken with a number of witnesses.
“I would ask that anyone who has not already given their details to police and who saw either vehicle in the area please get in touch.
“Likewise if motorists believe they may have dashcam footage which could assist our inquiries, I would urge you to come forward.”
A spokeswoman for Stagecoach North Scotland said: “One of our vehicles operating on the A93 near Ballater was involved in an incident in which the driver of a car suffered fatal injuries on Friday.
“Our first thoughts and deepest condolences are with the family of the person involved. We are assisting police with their inquiries into the circumstances of the incident.”
Anyone with information should call 101.