Family keep memory of Karl alive by raising cash

FAMILY and friends of a young soldier killed in a car crash earlier this year are keeping his memory alive by raising money for charity.

Fusilier Karl Reay died in an accident on the A189 while travelling north at Shankhouse, near Cramlington, in February.

His girlfriend Megan Wealleans, 18, a passenger in the car, suffered serious injuries and spent a few days in Ashington’s Wansbeck General Hospital recovering.

Since then, the 19-year-old Territorial Army recruit’s family have been raising money in his memory to help soldiers injured while serving their country.

Collections were held at Karl’s funeral at the Church of the Holy Saviour in Tynemouth and later at his wake.

His parents Helen and Karl, along with Megan and Karl’s sisters Lauren and Claire, visited Ashington’s TA centre to hand over a cheque for £1,300 to Z Company in aid of Help For Heroes.

Karl was a member of Z Company, part of the fifth battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, and now his former Army colleagues are planning a series of fundraising events to pay for a bench dedicated to Karl to be sited near his grave.

Chris Hall, a spokesman for Z Company, said: “He will always be part of Z Company and the Fusiliers.

“As the saying goes, ‘once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier’.”

Karl, of Whitley Bay, died after he lost control of his gold Renault Clio while driving north along the A189 Spine Road on Saturday, February 26.

The car left the road and overturned, with Karl being pronounced dead at the scene.

After the accident, his parents Helen and Karl described the accident as “a tragic event that never should have happened”.

“He is a lovely lad who is full of energy and he will be sorely missed,” they added.

A 19-year-old woman, believed to be from Tyneside, was arrested in connection with the accident.

She was driving another car on the A189 at the time, also heading north.

She was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and released on bail until Tuesday, June 28, pending further inquiries.

n Football match raises money in memory of soldiers – Page 33