THE PARENTS of a North Cornwall man who was killed in a car crash have paid tribute to the emergency services who fought to save him.
Nathan Percival, 26, from Launceston, died after a Citroen Saxo, driven by his close friend Lee Harrington, was involved in a collision with a lorry at Cockwells on the A30, between Hayle and Penzance.
The accident happened on August 18 but Nathan was only identified at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske, on Monday.
Mr Harrington had been officially identified three days before, although the families had been told their loved ones were in the car, which was destroyed by the fierce blaze at around 10pm.
The collision was followed by what people living nearby described as a massive blast and flames up to 30ft high. The lorry driver escaped with minor cuts and bruises.
Firefighters were still dealing with the burning car the morning after the crash, and the A30 road was closed to traffic until lunchtime.
"We want to thank the emergency services because we know that dealing with this crash was quite harrowing," said Nathan's mother, Jackie Peake.
"Police said it was one of the worst scenes at an accident that they had seen in 20 years. The car was still burning the next morning.
"We really appreciate the efforts everyone made at the scene of the crash.
"We are also thinking about the lorry driver, as it must have been terrible for him and his family, and for the family, especially for the children, of the other lad in the car, Lee, as they have lost a partner and father.
"The family liaison officer, Karen Prattley, has also helped us a lot and we would like to thank her.
"Another officer, Jason Mullard, also came to see us and he gave me full and honest answers to the questions I asked him."
Nathan, who went to Launceston College, was the youngest child of Jackie Peake and stepson of David Peake, who live at Lanstephan. His father Kevin lives at St Ives and he has three siblings – Tregarran, 30, Camilla, 29, and Barretta 27.
After attending Launceston College he did courses in motor vehicle mechanics at Plymouth and Camborne.
He had worked at Duchy Foods at Launceston and also worked as a chef when his parents ran the Angarrack Inn, near Hayle, for five years.
"He met Lee playing basketball when we were at the Angarrack Inn, and spent some of his time in Launceston and some of his time in Penzance. They were both hoping to move to Yorkshire to get jobs," said Mrs Peake.
"Nathan was just a happy-go-lucky lad, quiet and caring. He liked watching magic programmes on TV, especially Paul McKenna. Football, fitness and astronomy were his interests, and he loved his cat, who he named Grub. He had several girlfriends, but none at the moment."