"YOU put a smile on so many people's faces that you will be unbelievably missed."
This is one of many touching tributes to a 22-year-old Retford man who was killed in a road crash in the early hours of Saturday morning.
James Bunning, of Holly Road, died when his silver Rover careered off North Road, Retford, just before the turning to the quarry works area, and collided with a telegraph pole at 3.10am.
His parents, Tim and Caroline, spoke of their loss of a dearly-loved son who they described as a 'larger than life character' whose kindness and generosity had touched many lives.
"We were ever so proud of him. He was such a positive person and he will be missed so deeply by all those who knew him," said Tim.
"When the police knocked on our door at about 4.30am, we hoped and prayed that what they were saying wasn't true and this wasn't about our son."
"But it was just a tragic accident and a stupid mistake."
James had been on a night out in Retford with some friends and he returned to the family home at about 3am. But once he was at home, instead of going to bed he went out again and drove off in his car.
Mystery surrounds exactly where he went and why, and his parents are hoping someone might be able to help them shed some light on what was on his mind.
"It seems like it was just a stupid mistake. Perhaps he just came home and decided he would like a drive to help him sleep. We just don't know," said Tim.
"If there is anyone who can help us understand why he left the house again, we would really like them to come forward."
"Perhaps someone had a missed call or a text for him which might help explain why he decided to leave the house."
James' mum, Caroline, thanked all those who had shown the family such kindness since her son's death.
"We have had so many people wishing us well, sending us cards that I would like them to know what a comfort it has been," she said.
Retford-born James – known as 'Jamesy' to some of his friends – went to Bracken Lane Primary School and was a student at King Edward VI School.
A keen rugby player, he studied tourism and travel at Lincoln College and for the last three years worked as a sprayer at Icon Polymer.
His supervisor at the Retford rubberworks, Pete Burton, praised him as a 'great asset' to the company.
"He was always so reliable and willing to help. So many of his workmates have come up to me to talk about how much they liked him," he said.
At the scene of the crash, friends and family have left messages alongside bouquets of flowers.
Younger sister Nicki, who James was very close to, left a poignant message which read: "You were the best big brother in the whole world and you made me who I am today."
Notts Police are asking anyone who was driving in the area at the time and may have seen the silver Rover to contact Pc 2435 Ky Kirk of the Roads Policing Department on 0115 9670999.
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