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Tributes to Jim Campbell who died after being hit by cars in Canary Islands

By Laura Abernethy

Published 22/02/2016

Road tragedy: Jim Campbell
Road tragedy: Jim Campbell

The family of the man who died after he was hit by two cars while on holiday in the Canary Islands hope to bring his body home this week.

Jim Campbell (40), originally from Belfast but understood to have been living in Downpatrick, was killed near Fuerteventura Airport on Wednesday.

It is understood he had arrived on the island with some friends just a few hours earlier, but was walking alone towards his accommodation in Puerto del Rosario when he was struck by a car.

As the driver got out and tried to get help, Mr Campbell was hit by a second car. He died shortly after midnight.

It is understood that Spanish authorities have not yet provided official confirmation of how he died.

It is hoped that a post-mortem examination will take place today, if it was not already carried out over the weekend.

Once the post-mortem examination has taken place, the family can work towards bringing his body home for burial.

Colin Bell from the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust is assisting the family.

He told the Belfast Telegraph that arrangements had been started in order to bring Mr Campbell's body home to his family.

Mr Bell, from Newry, set up the charity named after his son Kevin, who was killed in a hit-and-run in New York in June 2013.

The fund has helped more than 60 families with the costs of repatriating the bodies of their loved ones from abroad.

Family and friends have paid tribute to Jim - who was fondly known as 'Soupy' - as they wait for information from the Spanish authorities.

His dad Joe posted on Facebook "RIP Jim Campbell who died 18 Feb 2016 in a car accident in Spain."

He added a message from Mr Campbell's siblings: "Rip big bro love you always and forever from Neil, Kerry, Orran and Dylan."

His cousin said: "Absolutely heartbreaking. My lovely big cousin

"Just awful. He had a heart of gold. Always thinking of others. Big gentleman."

Another friend posted: "R.I.P soupy can't get ya outa my head kid. All sorts of memories coming back, most of all ya always looked out for me."

Police said the driver of the second car - a 50-year-old local man - gave himself up at around 2am on Thursday, and was "shown later to be under the influence of hashish".

He has not been named.

A senior officer from the paramilitary Civil Guard said: "This was an accident waiting to happen.

"The victim had been drinking in the airport for several hours after landing.

"He then set out on his own.

"He was walking on the road with his back to the traffic in the night and wearing dark clothing."

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