A Queensferry couple this week thanked the community for its support after their 21-year-old son was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Deans Thomson was out riding with a friend near Silverknowes Golf Course on the outskirts of Edinburgh on Saturday, March 1, when he came off his bike.
When the police arrived at the family home that night, mum Karen (54) knew instantly that Deans had been in an accident.
She said: “I knew it must be bad – I thought that they were coming to take us to the hospital. I didn’t expect them to say that he’d died.
“From the beginning, the police have been amazing. The community officers stayed with us for over two hours that night and the road traffic police were excellent too, changing their shifts in case we needed them and keeping us up to date.”
Amidst their grief, Karen, husband Alan and younger son Gregor (18), have taken great comfort from the support they have received from family and friends in Queensferry.
The biking community also rallied, organising for 18 riders to attend Saturday’s funeral and to accompany the hearse to Queensferry cemetery after the service in the Parish Church.
The funeral director suggested to the family that they could have a motorcyle hearse for Deans and when it transpired the bike was Deans’ favourite, a Triumph, it seemed even more fitting.
Alan rode pillion on the bike on the way to the church.
The 49-year-old said: “Deans was crazy about bikes.
“He got his first pit bike when he was 15.
“He had a couple of cars but his heart was always with the bikes and had been since he was a boy. He got this bike he was riding last summer.
“He loved ‘old school’ engines – the bike he was on was 20 years old – and he loved being out in the garage; he spent more time out there than he did in the house. ”
The day before the funeral, Alan and Gregor paid a visit to Bikers’ Cove cafe where Deans had spent a lot of time.
The owners asked if the family would like a motorcycle cavalcade to follow the hearse.
Alan said: “We just can’t express how much gratitude we have to those guys.
“There is such a strong camaraderie between bikers and we could not have asked for a better send off.”
Karen added: “We were expecting five but bike after bike just kept arriving causing lots of congestion.”
For the family it was important that the funeral was an uplifting event.
Alan said: “Deans wouldn’t have wanted everyone moping around in tears.”
Karen added: “The minister said he’d never done a funeral like it.
“We played a clip from Wayne’s World, as well as rock music and some of Deans’ favourite movie music.”
More than 300 people packed into Queensferry Parish Church before the interment at Queensferry Cemetery. They then gathered at the Hawes Inn where Karen and Alan said the staff were exceptional in dealing with the numbers who had come to pay their respects.
Tricia Sutton, who runs the Bikers’ Cove along with partner Charles McLeod, said: “This is a really tight-knit community so when we lose one of our own we really take it to heart.
“It’s our way of saying thank you for being part of our community and to show our respect to their family.
“It’s such a tragedy. No one should have to bury their child. We just wanted to show them that we care.”