WORK colleagues in Bodmin have paid tribute to a 28-year-old family man who died following a tragic accident involving an electricity pole.
Ryan Thomas was a linesman for Western Power Distribution and was based at its depot on Lostwithiel Road.
Mr Thomas, the father on an eight-month-old baby, was killed after the electricity pole he was working on at Pier Lane, Cawsand, on January 16 is thought to have collapsed.
A full investigation is being carried out by the Health and Safety Executive.
Mike Rogers, distribution manager at the company's Bodmin depot, said all his work colleagues considered Mr Thomas as a great friend and someone they could trust.
"He always brought fun and a happy smile to work. Ryan was held in the highest regard by all that had the pleasure of working with him," said Mr Rogers.
"He can be described as the 'polite boy' the 'nice boy' the 'one that everyone wanted to work with'. He was very much part of a close working family at WPD and he will be greatly missed by everyone."
Mr Thomas lived in Grampound Road with his teenage sweetheart Zara. Their daughter Maisy will be eight months old next week.
Zara Thomas, his wife of two years, said: "He always had a cheeky smile on his face, he would make anyone laugh. Whenever I think of him all I can see is his smiling face – he always seemed so happy. Maisy is always smiling – she gets that from him."
The couple who met at Truro College ten years ago spoke for the last time when Ryan called home two hours before the accident.
"He rang from work to find out how Maisy had got on at nursery school and to give her a goodnight kiss," said Zara.
Ryan's parents, Trevor and Christine, and older brothers Malcolm and Nigel, said it was difficult to put their grief into words.
Trevor said: "He idolised Maisy, and when Zara was expecting her he told me he couldn't wait to be a father. Zara and Maisy were his life."
Ryan's best friend Lewis Orient, who was best man at his wedding, remembered Ryan as "the happiest man I have ever met.
"We were thick as thieves, did everything together. He was more like a brother to me."
His mother recalled taking him to the Boscawen Park cricket ground in his pram when he was just two weeks old.
He played for Cornwall Schools, with a reputation as a good batsman and fielder that led him to play for Truro Cricket Club, along with his brothers. He was also a respected footballer.
Truro Cricket Club secretary Roger Heayn said news of his death left members stunned: "We just cannot believe it," he said. "He was a lovely lad, very friendly and noone ever had a bad word to say about him.
"It is a tragic loss."