‘Legendary’ dad suddenly dies weeks after lorry crash
Tributes have flooded in for a “lovely” dad following his sudden death. Gary Rees was badly hurt on July 4 when a lorry driver travelling on the wrong side of the road hit his HGV head-on but he was able to leave hospital the following day. He died of unknown causes on Wednesday night at his Caerphilly home.
The 55-year-old, who worked as a bouncer as well as a DHL lorry driver, is survived by wife Hayley and sons Macauley, 26, and Jorge, 19. A fundraiser to support Gary’s family raised GBP1,485 in its first two hours. In a Facebook tribute Macauley wrote on Thursday morning: “I cant believe I’m sat here writing this… late last night we lost an absolute legend, my dad Gary Rees.
Massive pill to swallow for us this is. Still waiting to be woken up from a bad dream and to be told everything’s gonna be ok. We’re unsure on what caused this to happen, possibly a knock-on effect from the awful crash he had but only time will tell.
I suppose I’ve gotta be strong for him now but all I can say is what a f***ing guy he was and I know my dad will have a huge send-off… Love you DAD. Until we meet again!!!”
Read next:‘Beautiful young lady’ drowned in paddleboard incident off Welsh coast, inquest hears Gary’s family told WalesOnline the death was “very sudden” and they are in “terrible shock”. WalesOnline interviewed Gary on Wednesday afternoon when he said he had experienced severe headaches and leg pain since the collision on the B4251 in Oakdale. Gary had sustained swelling in his skull and was awaiting a scan to show the damage to his right leg.
In the interview he spoke about his gratitude to emergency services who freed him from the lorry as well as the support he had received from friends and family. “I can’t thank people enough really,” said Gary. He also spoke about the sympathy he felt for Mariusz Korkosz, who was jailed for 20 weeks after admitting causing serious injury to Gary by dangerous driving.
Gary Rees (Image: Rees family)
In just a couple of hours since the announcement of Gary’s death more than 800 people have commented on Facebook paying tribute to the “true gentleman” and “lovely guy”. Aviary, the Cardiff Road cocktail bar where Gary worked, posted: “This morning we were given the heartbreaking news that a truly valued and loved member of our Aviary family had sadly passed away.
Our hearts and love go out to Hayley, Mac, Jorge, Vickie, Neill, Audrey and the rest of Gary’s family and friends through this difficult time. “Big Gary wasn’t just a ‘doorman’ he was a pillar in our community and LOVED by everybody, old and young!!! A father figure to all, especially to my staff here.
He would make sure everybody got home safely at the end of every shift. Every single one of us here are truly hurting right now so please be patient if service is a little different over the next few days. Gary, your coffee mug and hat will be forever be part of Aviary.
Our weekends simply won’t be the same without you, We will always love you and miss you.”
Gary Rees was injured in a crash in Oakdale (Image: John Myers)
Katy Harris, a DJ in Caerphilly, wrote: “Caerphilly doors will never be the same again. RIP to a true legend Gary Rees who always looked after me and helped me with my equipment.” The fundraiser was launched by security guard service Rubicon Wales, which posted on Facebook: “Today is a very sad day for our team.
We have received the news that ‘our’ great friend and colleague, big Gary Rees, has passed away. Gary has worked in this industry for longer than we can remember, seen more than any of us, done more than you can think of and today was his very last time. Gary was the definition of a true gentleman and one of the kindest men we had the pleasure of knowing.
You could always guarantee he would have the back of any of our colleagues if they needed to deal with something, whilst having a smile on his face!
Gary Rees was a much-admired friend and colleague as well as a loving family man (Image: John Myers)
“He was an absolute credit to our team, a pleasure to stand by our side, and we are extremely proud to call him a friend! Rubicon and the wider community has lost a warrior! We have set up a JustGiving page to support Macauley, Hayley and the family.
Our thoughts are with them all at this sad time. Please may we ask that you respect their privacy.” A spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain said: “We are deeply saddened by the news of Gary’s passing.
We extend our condolences to his family and friends, and will offer every support we can in the weeks ahead. Gary was a valued and popular member of the transport team at Cardiff and he will be truly missed.” You can read our interview with Gary here.
Our report on the court case can be read here.