'Amazing' Torquay dad-of-three died in fatal crash

Thomas 'Tommy' McNally died in a fatal car crash
-Credit: (Image: Submitted)

A loving tribute has been made just before what would have been the 32nd birthday of a Torquay dad-of-three who tragically lost his life in a fatal car crash. Thomas McNally, better known as Tommy, was the passenger in a black Seat Leon which was involved in a single-vehicle crash on the A3122 Halwell Cross, near Totnes at around 9.30pm on Friday, April 26.

Tommy was taken to Derriford Hospital but died from his injuries two days later. The driver of the vehicle, a man in his 20s, was said to have suffered suspected life-changing injuries at the time.

He was later arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He remains on bail until July 26, pending further enquiries.

In the meantime, an inquest into Tommy's death recently opened at Exeter Coroner's Court. It was confirmed that he was born on June 10, 1992, in Wolverhampton, lived in Torquay, and was single and a labourer.

Senior coroner Philip Spinney said: "The circumstances of the death are Thomas was an unrestrained rear seat passenger in a motor vehicle that was involved in a collision with a 'solid country hedge'. He sadly died from injuries sustained in the collision. The driver of the motor vehicle was arrested at the scene."

The provisional cause of death given was a head injury pending specialist neuropathology and toxicology. The inquest was adjourned for a full hearing to be held on a yet to be confirmed date.

Thomas 'Tommy' McNally died in a fatal car crash -Credit:Submitted
Thomas 'Tommy' McNally died in a fatal car crash -Credit:Submitted

Tommy was a proud father to Riley, Kian and Leo. He was the younger brother of Shane and the elder brother of Jake, Ben, Andrew, Sophie and Isabella-Shannon (Bella). He was born to his devoted mother Kerry and was cherished by his grandparents Carol and the late Tom McNally, along with all his aunts, uncles, cousins and a growing network of friends.

His family and friends have issued heartfelt tributes following his death to mark what would have been his 32nd birthday this month.

His mum Kerry said: "This accident was completely unexpected and has broken our hearts. He was an amazing son, grandson, brother, dad, nephew, cousin and friend to many. He will be very missed by us all. We love you Tommy, forever and always."

A close family friend added: "Tommy was a true gentleman. He was always the guy who open a door for someone or pull out a chair for them. Even though he was in his 30s, he had old school morals.

"He would do anything for anyone and would not let anyone else put themselves out for him. The light went out the day he died and it has not gone back on."

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Tommy moved from Wolverhampton to Torquay on January 1, 2018, in a bid to escape the inner city life and live closer to his mum, two younger brothers and two younger sisters.

The family friend recalled: "Life wasn’t always easy for Tommy as he struggled with mental health for his entire life, which deepened after the passing of his stepdad Andy in 2001. As he got older he learned to cope with his mental health with the help of mental health practitioners and his loving network of family and friends, and he was turning his mental health into positive outcomes within his own life.

"He was a keen dart player and loved the tranquillity of the open space and greenery Devon brings and would often spend time taking in the picturesque scenery. Tommy worked in Dartmouth for Champion Groundworks building brand new homes and was in the progress of getting a dumper licence."

Best friend and work colleague Lee added: “I personally will never forget him and the bond we had as friends."

Tommy's funeral will take place in Wolverhampton. The date is yet to be confirmed. He will be laid to rest in the comfort of his late granddad Tom McNally.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Tommy’s cousin Megan to help give Tommy the send-off he deserves and to commemorate his life. To make a donation, please click here.