Journalists at two weekly newspapers have paid tribute to a former colleague who was killed in a late-night motorcycle crash.
The 18-year-old driver of the white Vauxhall Corsa which collided with Dave’s Yamaha moped on the A138, in Chelmsford, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, and has been bailed until 14 October.
Dave, pictured below, who was 58, worked at the Chronicle and the Gazette between 1979 and 2011.
Dean Hooper, his best friend and colleague for more than 30 years, who still works at the paper, said: “He was the Peter Pan of print and a larger than life character with an infectious personality, who always had a smile on his face.
“He’s the only guy I know who would cycle seven miles to work and then eat a curry at 8am.
“He had a keen eye for the ladies and his one-liners – such as ‘I love her’ – never failed, but he never took kindly for getting mistaken for my dad on more than one occasion.
“He enjoyed Michelin Star restaurants, fine wine – and the occasional ginger beer. Dave made many friends and lived life to the full. He is a credit to his family and will be missed by many. We’ve had plenty of laughs along the way but things will never be the same.”
Dave was part of the team credited with the introduction of new technology at the Chronicle more than 25 years ago.
Chronicle journalist Clare Youell, who worked with Dave for five years in two separate stints, said: “Dave was the life and soul of the party. If there was a crowd then he was at the centre of it. If there were drinks, he had probably organised them.
“But underneath the smiles and all the funny stories, he was a kind, sweet man who would do absolutely anything for his family and friends. He lived life to the full and it’s a real tragedy this has happened.
“Everyone who knew Dave will miss him, he was one of life’s big characters who will not be forgotten.”
Chronicle features editor Darryl Webber, who worked with Dave for more than 20 years, added: “He was always great fun to be with in and out of work. Everyone saw him as a happy-go-lucky guy but he was also very caring, generous and sensitive.
“What I liked most about Dave was that he unashamedly lived life to the full. When I think about him, it will always be with a smile on his face. That’s how I’ll remember him.”