Tributes paid to RAF Corporal who died in motorcycle crash with car

The 43-year-old grandad was riding his motorbike at the time of the crash.

Tributes paid to RAF Lossiemouth Corporal David Thorne who died in motorcycle crash Corporal Thorne's family/RAF

Tributes have been paid to a Royal Air Force Lossiemouth Corporal who died in a crash in Aberdeenshire.

David Thorne was pronounced dead at the scene of a collision between a motorcycle and a car on the A96 in Huntly at around 11.30am on Tuesday, March 5.

The 43-year-old grandad was riding a red Honda VFR800 motorcycle at the time of the crash at the junction with A920 Deveron Road.

The 31-year-old female driver of a white BMW i4 car was uninjured in the incident.

Corporal Thorne, known to his colleagues as Dave, served in the RAF for 26 years as an aircraft technician and was serving on 1 (Fighter) Squadron. He was married, with three children and two grandchildren.

“While the RAF will deeply mourn his passing, the thoughts of everyone at RAF Lossiemouth are firmly with his wife Michelle, his mother Sally, his father Graham, his children Aaron, Katy and Ash, and his grandchildren, Lauren and Miles,” a spokesperson said.

RAF officials said he saw service on overseas operations on five occasions, completing two tours on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan, with tours in Cyprus and one deployment to the Falklands.

Corporal Thorne, originally from Wales, first joined RAF Lossiemouth in 2007 but was on leave when he died as a result of the crash.

The Air Force said he was recently offered promotion to Sergeant which reflected his “professionalism and leadership.”

RAF Lossiemouth station commander, Group Captain Jim Lee, said: “All of us at RAF Lossiemouth are joined together in grief following the sad loss of one of our dear colleagues, Corporal Dave Thorne.

“Having served here for over 16 years, spanning the Tornado and Typhoon eras, he made a huge contribution right across the station.

Corporal Thorne served at Lossiemouth spanning the Tornado and Typhoon eras. Photo: iStock.iStock

“He cared about people and was passionate about improving their day-to-day life in work. He lived the values we hold dear on our station and his loss is felt by us all.

“Most importantly, he was a son, husband, and father. His family are deep in our thoughts at this difficult time, and we stand ready to support them with whatever they may need.”

Wing commander Edward Morris, officer commanding 1 (Fighter) Squadron, said: “Dave was a highly valued and respected member of 1 (Fighter) Squadron who exemplified the meaning of service and duty to the RAF and his country.

“His talents were noticed well before he joined 1 (Fighter) Squadron, and we were extremely grateful to have Dave posted to us in 2023 where he quickly integrated and established himself as a highly committed and professional member of the team.

“Dave’s approach was always selfless. He was especially focussed on supporting others to improve their experience on the Squadron, particularly for our very junior members who he regularly assisted after hours. Always ready to put others before himself he truly embodied leading by example.

“Dave fully deserved his overdue promotion to Sergeant where he would have been even better placed to develop those who were fortunate to be his colleagues.

“Dave’s passing leaves a huge hole in 1 (Fighter) Squadron and the wider community at RAF Lossiemouth.

“He will always be remembered as a highly valued member of our team and deeply missed by all who knew him. In Omnibus Princeps.”

Tributes have been paid from staff at RAF Lossiemouth. Photo: RAF.Website

Officials at RAF Lossiemouth say he previously turned down a promotion offer because it would have meant leaving Moray, a place he and his family loved, and hoped to stay.

In 2023, he completed a Foundation Degree in Aeronautical Systems Engineering from Stafford University.

On behalf of the 1 (Fighter) Squadron engineers, senior engineer officer, squadron leader Edward Owen, said: “Dave was a highly respected leader and aircraft technician who had devoted himself to a life in the Royal Air Force.

“Passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience with those around him, during his time on centralised line training section he was hugely influential on the professional development of so many others from across the Tornado and Typhoon force.

“Deploying as an early failure detection cell technician alongside 1 (Fighter) Squadron on Operation Shader, he generously supported the Squadron not only in his primary role, but also in his own spare time when he carried out line training and joined the team to complete aircraft maintenance tasks.

“Subsequently posted onto the squadron, his professionalism and dedication were rightly recognised with an offer of promotion to Sergeant.

“Dave will be sorely missed on the Squadron and across the wider Royal Air Force but will be remembered with fondness and great gratitude by those who had the pleasure of knowing and serving alongside him.”

Emergency services were called to the crash on the Inverness to Aberdeen road, at the junction with A920 Deveron Road. Photo: Jasperimage

Sergeant Peter Henderson, of Police Scotland’s North East Road Policing Unit, said: “Our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends, as well as the other people involved, at this difficult time.

“We are working to establish the full circumstances which led to this collision and would urge anyone with information which may help to get in touch.

“We would also be keen to speak to anyone who was on the road around the time of the crash who may have dashcam footage to come forward.

“Anyone who can help is asked to call 101, quoting reference 1129 of March 5, 2024.”

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