Heartbroken family remember 'genuine and modest' 24-year-old killed in A5 crash
Family and close friends of a young man who was killed in a crash on the A5 have paid loving tributes to him.
Callum Powell, 24, was a delivery driver for Morrisons and had been on his way home to Ruyton XI Towns at 3.08am on Monday when he was involved in a collision with a lorry at Nesscliffe.
West Mercia Police has confirmed that a 21-year-old man has been released on bail on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
Callum’s girlfriend Lara Filipa, sister Rachel Powell, and friends Antonio Lache and Sophie Rickman told the Shropshire Star that Callum was a “laid back” young man who was a “genuinely nice person”.
Rachel, 21, said: “He was very protective especially when I was with a boyfriend. It would always be Callum and Rachel on Christmas cards, never Rachel and Callum!
“We were polar opposites – the teachers at St John the Baptist Primary School and The Corbet School could not believe we were brother and sister.”
Lara, 22, had known Cal for some years before they got together three years ago.
She said: “There was so much love between us. We would be like Tom and Jerry with the bickering but quickly sort things out. We were different but very similar – I am very clingy but Cal was so laid back and genuine. He was very genuine and an had no filter - a genuinely a nice person who never wanted anything back. He had a lot of friends.”
Lara added that Cal was so modest and hated any attention being on himself. “He didn’t like flowers, attention or photos and would be asking ‘why are you doing this?’ if he were with us now.
“We were together for three years and he was just settling down. He was a free spirit who would do something if he wanted to and wouldn’t do anything he didn’t want to. But we had our daily routine of meeting up – he was the purest soul.”
They described a man who would never be still and even loved washing other people’s cars.
Rachel added: “He was the best.”
“He had a tough time being bullied at school but he really blossomed after school. He was loved and had a big group of friends.
“He wasn’t academic but he had a brilliant memory. We played Trivial Pursuit at Christmas and he answered a question about the Komodo dragon. He said he had seen a programme about it.”
After school he started to train as a mechanic in Baschurch but actually took up the delivery driver job and took to it straight away.
Discussions at home would also sometimes be competitive as his dad Tony Powell, 64, is a delivery driver for rival supermarket chain Tesco. His mum Sandra, 61, is retired. They have been living in Ruyton since 2002.
Cal picked up the nickname “Spanners” and had a bit of a reputation for losing them.
Rachel said: “He just loved to drive – and knew how to at 15, on private land. As a boy he had little Jeeps and he could name the makers of cars when we were going on holiday. He was constantly driving and loved to drive. He just loved his job.”
Rachel recalled the shock of being told the awful news by two police officers who knocked at their door at 5.45am, just hours after the crash.
“I thought they had come for Callum, that he’d done something. Dad heard the knock as well. They told us there had been a road traffic collision and Callum had died. I was crying instantly and mum and dad were just numb, like they couldn’t believe it was happening.”
Girlfriend Lara knew something was wrong when Callum didn’t send his usual text message to say he had arrived safely. “I think I am in denial,” she said. “He drove that road every day and knew it like the back of his hand. He wasn’t a stranger to that road and was one of the safest drivers I knew.
“You would feel so safe with him, he was very sensible. He was a very good driver.”
Friends Antonio Lache and Sophie Rickman spoke of the utter disbelief that Callum had died. His friends packed out the Harvester pub near the cinema on Monday evening to support each other.
Sophie said: “He loved to play pool with Alex Dando, his long-time mate on Thursdays.”
Antonio recalls one of their adventures to visit the Black Rock Sands at Porthmadog.
“My car got stuck in the sand and Cal pulled it out,” said Antonio. “But he broke his drive shaft and we were three and a half hours from Shrewsbury. So I towed him on the back lanes all the way back to Shrewsbury. It took five and a half hours.”
Cal was a member of the 10PMClub, a car-based social group with hundreds of members. The group is holding a meeting on Sunday to fundraise to support Cal’s family in whichever way they need.
“It is for whatever they wish for,” said Sophie. “Nearly £2,000 was raised in 24 hours.”
Donations will also be taken at the meet-up which will take place at a location to be decided.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up at GoFundMe.