Man killed by falling tree in Sale had just called ambulance for woman in another accident

Darnell's family say he "genuinely cared" about everything and everyone. Credit: MEN Media

A man was killed by a falling tree had just called an ambulance for a woman who had been in a bike accident, his best friend has said.

Darnell Cordingley, 26, was killed in the freak incident on Osborne Terrace in Sale, on 6 October.

He had gone for a walk with best friend, Sam Smart, before seeing a woman injured in a bike accident near Bridgewater Canal and calling an ambulance to help her.

But, as they continued further up the road, the pair were struck by a falling tree.

Sam, was left with serious injuries, including multiple broken bones and a fractured vertebrae, and remains in hospital. Darnell died at the scene.

Sam said: "I met Darnell during his shift as a traffic warden to catch-up and have a walk.

"We were going down the canal when a woman had an accident with her bike so we attended to her and called for an ambulance.

"We went to walk up a street to see something when the tree fell."

The scene in Sale after the tree had fallen. Credit: MEN Media

Darnell, from Altrincham, was a keen gamer and filmmaker.

Sam first met Darnell at school, and they became firm friends after a trip to the Lake District.

"Darnell was goofy, random, funny, and will always be my closest friend," Sam said.

"Whenever he was grumpy I liked to call him Grumpy Grandad because he’d look like a grandad.

"I’m still processing that Darnell is gone, there was a moment in the hospital where I thought that I needed to tell him how I was and what happened but would remember that he’s no longer here.

"This will take me a long time to process and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. He was like my brother, my best friend."

Sam Smart and Darnell Cordingley were best friends. Credit: MEN Media

Straight-A student Darnell was studying directing and film at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

His mum, Beth, 43, said: "Darnell was just a lovely lovely gentle soul. He just wanted to help people, he was always a happy, cheery, positive person.

"He was the apple of my eye, my world, and my strength. He was a really good son, loving, loyal, always there for us both and always took care of his sister, we’re going to miss him very much.

"Myself and my daughter are absolutely devastated, it's always been us three against the world and nothing can fill the void that's been left in our lives.

"There's nothing that can fill this emptiness. It’s just tragic, it shouldn’t have happened to him.

"He had a happy and caring soul and always wanted the best for everyone. He could brighten up any room."

Darnell and his family Marian, Beth and Indio. Credit: MEN Media

He lived at home with his mum and sister, saving to get onto the property ladder and buy his own home.

His sister, Indio Cordingley, 23, said: "Darnell was the best big brother anyone could have hoped for.

"He was always by my side when times got hard and I'm going to miss his comforting presence.

"He genuinely cared about everything and everyone, and he never had an enemy, everyone that met him loved him.

"Everyone he ever met was friends with him, he never had anything bad to say about anyone, he was just happy to be a part of people’s lives.

"He was down to earth, kind, and had a really calming and comforting presence. Even if you were the most stressed you’d ever been he’d calm you down.

"He always knew the right thing to say. He was a really interesting person, everything about him was just intriguing."

A fundraising page for Darnell's family has been set up to help pay for the funeral and help his loved ones.

Beth added: "As a family we want to thank everyone for the heartfelt tributes and the kind words, generosity and kindness people have shown us.

"A lot of people we don’t even know have contacted us, people who were involved in the incident, who lived nearby.

"Two good friends of ours have not left our sides since. Thank you to everyone."