Leeds parents pay tribute to a ‘shining star’ after crash death

Callum Walk.
Callum Walk.
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The grieving parents of a young man from Leeds killed in a road smash have opened their hearts about the loss of their “shining star”.

Robert and Joanne Wark, from Swillington, say they have been left shattered by 19-year-old Callum’s death.

But they have also drawn some comfort from the tributes that have poured in for their only child since the tragedy.

Cards and letters of sympathy are still arriving at the couple’s home, with Callum’s old teachers at Swillington Primary and Brigshaw High among those writing moving words in his memory.

More than 200 mourners attended keen Leeds United fan Callum’s funeral at St Mary’s Church in Swillington.

Leeds manager Brian McDermott has sent a letter offering the family his condolences, along with a card signed by United’s first-team squad.

Callum’s colleagues at haulage and logistics firm Wincanton in Sherburn also arranged for the Leeds players to sign a shirt with his name on the back.

Mrs Wark told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The response we have had is overwhelming.

“What people have said about Callum, we already knew, but it makes us feel very proud to know that so many other people thought the same way about him too.

“Callum was a very kind person, decent and thoughtful. He had a lot of friends and looked for the good in everyone and everything.

“He always gave his best and was very hard working.

“There was a presence about him, he instantly lit up a room when he walked in.

“As young as he was, he was always mindful of his actions and how they may affect others.

“Callum’s death has devastated and touched the hearts of so many people, even those that did not know him.”

The Warks said their son had a passion for nature and being creative and, at the time of his death, was waiting to hear whether he had secured a new job with a gardening company.

“He was thrilled with how the interview had gone and couldn’t wait to see if he had got the job but he never had the chance to find out,” said Mrs Wark.

She also said Callum had previously had a weekend job at Strikes Garden Centre on Selby Road, where he was highly regarded by staff and customers alike.

“People used to come in and ask for him, which is a great compliment to someone that did not work there full-time,” said Mrs Wark.

A collection at Callum’s funeral raised an impressive £780 for the Alzheimer’s Society, a cause that meant a lot to him as his beloved gran sadly suffers from the condition.

He had also been looking forward to playing in a football tournament raising money for a heart charity called Pumping Marvellous.

Callum died on March 1 when his car was hit by a lorry that had swerved onto the wrong side of the A1246 road near Fairburn. The accident happened two days before what would have been his 20th birthday.

As previously reported by the YEP, the man at the wheel of the lorry, a 56-year-old Bulgarian called Stoyan Andonov Stoyanov, was nearly three times the drink drive limit.

He was jailed for seven years and eight months at York Crown Court on March 20.

Mr and Mrs Wark say they are “heartbroken” by the sentence and feel “very let down” by a system that has left Callum with “no justice”.

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