A FAMILY has been left devastated following the tragic death of a father-of-three in a cycling accident.
Andy Charlton, who grew up in the Lune Valley, leaves behind 11-week-old twins and a two-year-old son, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis.
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The 43-year-old gave up his job to be a full-time dad to Oscar soon after he was born, and had told his family he wanted to be an organ donor.
Since his death five people on the donor waiting list have received life-changing transplants.
His wife Katy said: “Being on the donor register was important to Andy, knowing that many people with cystic fibrosis require lung transplants later in life."
His sister Amanda added: “There is some strange comort in knowing that other people have been helped and I’m proud knowing that these were my brother’s wishes.”
Katy has also set up a JustGiving page in memory of Andy (www.justgiving.com/Charltonfamily). It has already raised more than £8,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
The former DJ was fatally injured in a collision with a Ford Fiesta car while out cycling on the A6079 – an isolated stretch of road popular with cyclists – near Chollerton, in Tynedale.
Police say the accident happened around three quarters of a mile west of the junction with the A68.
Sergeant Nigel Dance, of Northumbria Police, said that Mr Charlton was struck from behind and added: “There are lots of issues about visibility and these are things that we will be considering when we speak to the driver.”
Andy sustained serious head injuries in the collision and was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Newscastle, by air ambulance, where he later died.
The car driver was unhurt.
Police say they are still investigating the accident and inquiries are ongoing.
A 55-year-old man has attended a police station voluntarily to speak to officers in connection with the collision. No arrests have been made.
Mr Charlton’s funeral was held in Whitley Bay on Tuesday and a memorial service will take place in Heysham today.
He had taken up road cycling 18 months ago with a view to getting Oscar interested in it in future.
“Anything that makes Oscar’s lungs stronger is good because it will help his body deal with any infections he picks up,” Amanda said.
Andy was born in Heysham and moved to the Lune Valley at the age of 13 when his parents, Andrea and Peter, bought Hornby Post Office.
Amanda, who is eight years older and lives in Lupton, near Kirkby Lonsdale, has paid tribute to her ‘gorgeous little brother’.
“As a child he was loving and mischievous – he loved fishing and was always down on the beach with my dad.”
After studying at the University of Leeds he became a DJ, playing in clubs all over the country under the name Andy Jarrod.
Several music blogs have paid tribute to him over the past week, with one user on Bedrock saying, “Nearly anyone who made progressive house in the late 1990s and early 2000s probably had some form of business dealings with Andy.
“He was also a solid DJ too, having released several mix comps back in the day.”
After deciding to get out of the music industry, Andy turned to his love of fishing for his next career move and moved to North Shields to work for Hardy and Greys Fishing.
It was there that he met his wife Katy, who works as a dentist, and the two were married in 2011.
When their son Oscar was born and diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, Mr Charlton left work to give him full-time care.
Sister Amanda said: “I don’t think it was a difficult decision for him – his world was consumed by this child and wanting to make his life better.
“Looking at Oscar, you wouldn’t know he was any different to any other child, which is largely down to Andy’s care.
“He’s naughty, he’s hilarious, all things Andy was when he was little.”
Amanda described her brother as ‘awesome’, saying, “He was a really passionate, ambitious person.
Everything he did, he put absolutely everything into – when he gave up his job he was determined to be the best house husband ever.
“Being a husband and father was his greatest role, and there is a hole in Katy’s life that will never be filled.
“Then 11 weeks ago they were blessed with twin girls who are now going to grow up without a father, and they won’t have a conscious memory of him, which is dreadful.”
Andy’s wife Katy said: "He was loved so very much, he was a wonderful father to Oscar and twin girls Eleanor and Chloe, born only two months ago.
“He will be so sadly missed by everyone who knew him. It is tragic that his children will grow up without a father.”