Tributes after Ellon man dies in Borders road crash

The scene of the fatal crash at Johnstonebridge.
The scene of the fatal crash at Johnstonebridge.

Tributes have been paid following the death of an Ellon father-of-four in a road accident in the Borders.

Stephen Crawford - a Lockerbie hotelier - died last Thursday when his car was in collision with a lorry on a rural road.

The crash happened at Johnstonebridge, near his Dinwoodie Lodge Hotel.

The road was closed for five hours while emergency services and accident investigators attended the scene.

It is understood Mr Crawford, 44, had just dropped off his daughter at school.

News of his death brought tributes from the Ellon community.

His parents, Fred and Frances, live in the town.

Mr Crawford was a former Ellon Academy pupil and a popular member of Ellon Gordon Cricket Club before moving to Lockerbie to establish a hotel business.

Former Ellon Academy rector Alan Cameron said that like the rest of the community, he was deeply shocked to hear of the accident.

He added: “Stephen was a fine young man who was much respected in the community of Ellon and in the border community where he had made his home.

“I remember Stephen as an able pupil when he was at Ellon Academy and one who was popular with his classmates. I remember him particularly as a member of our school debating teams where his general knowledge and sharp wit together with his mastery of the skills of debating made Stephen and his partner a formidable team.

“I am sure that his many former classmates and teachers will be devastated to hear of his death. We extend our sympathies to his father Fred and mother Frances, to his sisters and their families and to his wife and daughters at this very sad time.”

Cricket club treasurer Ean Mackie said: “All connected with Ellon Gordon Cricket Club, especially those older members among us, were saddened to learn of the tragic accident.

“Stephen was a valued member of the club from 1985 -1994. It was only in February last year that he joined us at the dinner to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the club.

“Our thoughts are with his family.”

Club member Scott Middleton added: “Stephen was a topper of a lad. It’s hard to believe he’s gone. He was an outstanding batsman for Ellon.”

Family friend Jack Nixon described Mr Crawford as “one of the nice guys of this life”.

He said: “I knew him as bright young man when he lived in Ellon where he made his mark as a sportsman of some note, excelling at badminton, golf, but especially at cricket.

“He was an outstanding batsman, but most of all he was a thoroughly decent human with a pawky sense of humour. I can scarcely believe he has gone.”

Mr Nixon added: “My thoughts at this tragic time are with his parents Fred and Frances, and of course his wife Wendy and their four children.

“It is an appalling loss to both Ellon and Lockerbie, where he was a highly respected member of the business community.”

Mr Crawford’s death has also stunned villagers in Johnstonebridge.

Former councillor Billy Lockhart said: “Everyone has been left shattered by the news.

“It’s a shock to the whole community. It’s an awful thing to have happened.”

He described Mr Crawford as “well known, well liked and well respected”.

Mr Crawford’s wife is a teacher at Nethermill Primary School near Dumfries.

Her mother and father, David and Linda Carlyle, live in Lockerbie.