The family of Brett McCullough have paid tribute to their “wonderful husband, father and son.”
A family statement has been issued in the wake of yesterday’s train crash in Stonehaven, in which Mr McCullough was the driver.
The 45-year-old, who was married with three children, worked out of Aberdeen depot, and lived not far from the scene of yesterday’s crash.
The statement reads: “Words cannot describe the utterly devastating effect of Brett’s death on his family and friends. We have lost a wonderful husband, father, and son in the most awful of circumstances. Brett was the most decent and loving human being we have ever known and his passing leaves a huge void in all our lives.
“We would like to thank the emergency services for their heroic efforts in helping everyone affected by this tragedy and for all the messages of support and condolence we have received.
Meanwhile Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF’s organiser in Scotland, also paid tribute.
The trade union represents train drivers across the UK.
He said: “The tragic accident at Stonehaven has affected everyone in the railway family, but especially the family and friends of the three people who died, and the six people who were injured.
“Brett was originally from Bromley, in Kent, but moved to Aberdeenshire to marry Stephanie. He worked as a gas fitter up here, and was servicing the boiler of an Aberdeen train driver in 2011 when they started to talk about the railway, and about driving trains.
“Brett was fascinated by what he heard, successfully applied for a job, did his driver’s training for a year to earn his key, and entered service with ScotRail in December 2013.
“He was a dedicated train driver, who loved his job, and was very popular at the depot with his colleagues. He was also a devoted family man who loved his wife and children – two girls and a boy. Brett thought the world of his family, and we all thought the world of him.”
Mr Lindsay added: “As train drivers our thoughts are not only with Brett’s family, but also with the family and friends of the conductor who died, Donald Dinnie, and the passenger on the 6.38 service out of Aberdeen. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who were injured and taken to hospital.”
Trade union RMT has also paid tribute to Mr Dinnie, described as “highly respected.”
Senior Assistant General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “On behalf of the union I want to send condolences, support and solidarity to Donald Dinnie’s family, friends and colleagues. It is absolutely clear that he was much loved and highly respected by all who knew him and his death is a tragedy that has shocked our entire industry. We share the grief of those who were close to Donald.
“Donald’s branch, Aberdeen 1, have told me that he was an amazing person. He lit up every room he walked into with his cheery banter and stories. Many knew Donald for most of his railway career as a driver and a guard. He was very much a family man and a valued, active and proud member of the RMT. His loss has cast a long shadow over his branch, his Region and the whole national union.”
Meanwhile, the third victim of Stonehaven’s train crash has been named as 62-year-old Christopher Stuchbury.
He was a passenger aboard the service yesterday morning.
The Stonehaven Reds Aberdeen Supporters Club have set up a dedicated fundraiser to support the families of the victims.