Capital student killed in car crash

Patrick Gearns

Patrick Gearns

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AN Edinburgh student has been killed in a car crash in New York.

Patrick Gearns, 21, died after being struck by a car as he crossed the street in his home city while visiting family during the holidays.

He was rushed to hospital but died shortly after the crash.

Tributes to the student, who was described as hugely popular, have poured in from friends in Edinburgh and around the world.

Mr Gearns, who was in his third year studying international relations at the university and lived in Thistle Street, was said to have loved his life in Edinburgh and would be sorely missed.

Best friend Ciaran Dawson, who attended Harrow School in London with Mr Gearns before moving up to Edinburgh with him, said: “He was a great guy, very entrepreneurial.

“You couldn’t walk down the street without him having to stop to speak to someone. He absolutely loved living in Edinburgh.

“He’d been there three years and was back home for Christmas.

“At his service there were people from all round the world who came especially for it. He was the most popular kid I’ve ever known.”

In addition to his studies Mr Gearns was a keen musician, and ran the successful promotions company We Own, which organised large-scale concerts for students across the UK.

His mother, Aki Gearns, paid tribute to her son, writing on a Facebook page dedicated to him which has been visited by hundreds of his friends since the tragedy in Long Island on December 29.

His mother said she did not think she would ever get over her son’s death.

She wrote: “He suffered massive head trauma and was already unconscious by the time he was taken to the hospital. His lungs and legs were also damaged.

“The doctor told me that his injuries were severe, and even if they saved him he would never wake up completely. I begged the doctor to save him, but he said that Patrick would most likely not survive.

“I could not believe that my son’s life was in danger. I was holding him for ten minutes when I realised that his body was getting very cold. The hospital staff asked me to leave the room and after a few minutes his heart stopped.

“Patrick died without suffering and I believe he is with his father in Heaven. I still can’t believe that Patrick is dead. Many friends told me that my soul will heal as time goes on, but I don’t think it will heal forever.”