Glasgow helicopter crash: Tributes paid to victims - 'a beautiful friend' and a 'highly professional' pilot

 

Tributes were paid today to victims of the Glasgow police helicopter crash, including the “very pleasant” and “highly professional” pilot, “a smashing lad” who helped his daughter to become a Scottish international footballer, and “a beautiful friend”.

Police formally identified the three crew members of the helicopter who died when it plunged through the roof of The Clutha bar on Friday night as pilot Captain David Traill, 51, and police officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 41, who had both been previously commended for bravery.

Gary Arthur, 48, from the Paisley area, has also been named by police as one of at least five people in the bar who died, but others including poet John McGarrigle were identified by friends and relatives.

Jeanette Retson, a friend of Captain Traill, said he was “a lovely person”.

“I knew David was working with the police force and all day yesterday I was just hoping it wasn’t him that was in it [the helicopter],” she said.

“But I found out this morning, I’m so sorry, so sad … He loved his work. I am proud to know David Traill.”

Captain Traill served in the RAF and was a flying instructor at RAF Odiham in Hampshire before he became a civilian pilot. He had worked with the police for about four years.

Speaking to journalists outside a memorial service held at Glasgow Cathedral, Pat O’Meara, of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said he had flown with Captain Traill and described him as “a very pleasant person, a decent man, highly professional”.

The pilot’s cousin Heather Lawson wrote on her Facebook page: “ RIP David Traill my lovely big cousin away far too soon xxx”

PC Nelis reportedly received a bravery award in 2003 after tackling a man with a hammer while trapped in a lift with him in Greenock.

Some of her friends changed their Facebook profile pictures to a black square crossed by a thin blue line in her memory.

One, Andrina Romano, wrote: “For my beautiful friend Kirsty and all others involved. You will never be forgotten and I will miss you every day. Rip”

Speaking about all three on the helicopter, Sir Stephen House, chief constable of Police Scotland, said: “I'd like to pay tribute to all of them and the work that they did over the years keeping people safe across Scotland.

“Both the officers involved had previously been commended by the police by bravery in different acts.”

Chloe Arthur, 18, who plays for Celtic’s women’s football team and has been capped for Scotland at under-19 level, wrote on Twitter: “RIP dad, you'll always mean the world to me, I promise to do you proud, I love you with all my heart.” 

John Lyon, a friend of Mr Arthur, described him as a “ smashing lad” who was “a really talented footballer” when he was younger and had helped his daughter’s career, the Daily Record reported.

In a statement, Celtic sent its condolences to the families of all of those who were killed. “The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic, including all of Chloe’s team-mates and friends at the club, are with Chloe and her family at this desperately sad time,” the club added.

Mark O’Prey, 44, a window cleaner from East Kilbride, is also thought to have been killed.

John McGarrigle, 38, said on Saturday that an eyewitness had told him his father, John McGarrigle, 59, had been killed while sitting at his favourite spot in the bar.

Mr McGarrigle senior was a published poet, who went to poetry nights at The Scotia pub, which is not far from The Clutha.

The blogger Ann Arky of the Radical Glasgow website wrote: “John didn't have an easy life, but he lived it with energy. 

“I always thought that in his poetry, he could capture the full spectrum of human emotions, he could come up with the witty, ridiculously funny, stupidly funny and the profoundly moving.”

In one poem, Refuge, he wrote about finding beauty among the litter in hills near Glasgow.

“And when the snow comes to hide the sins of man, you'll find in this winter wonderland a refuge,” he said.

Video: Helicopter removed from pub

By default player size is set to 420 x 315px. But you can resize player width and height once you get the player code using player params.
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk