THE heartbroken father of a young dad who died in a car crash has revealed how his “brilliant, talented” son told him “take care of my children” during their final phone call.
John Casement, 54, said he did “not understand” why his son Billy Casement made the comment before he got into a friend’s car on Wednesday night. He died a few hours later at 7.40pm.
Devastated John, who lives minutes away from his son in Bingham Way, sent Billy, 30, of Brand Gardens, a last text telling him to “be careful” on the roads. Billy, who was a handyman, was a passenger in a Subaru, which collided with a Peugeot and a Renault Clio on Maybury Road. He died at the scene.
Today, Billy’s loving wife Laura, 29, dad John and mother Julie all paid tribute to a “star” who “adored” his children, Emma, two, and ten-month-old Lucy.
John said: “What he said during our final phone call was out of the ordinary, I can’t explain that.
“Billy would do anything for anyone. He moved into the house at Brand Gardens four years ago to look after his grandma, who had cancer, when she didn’t want to go into a hospice.
“My son was like a mini-me, but he was better than me. He would ask me to teach him how to do things, but two seconds later he’d be perfect at it.
“I’d take him to my work on weekends to learn how to do handyman jobs, but he could do everything better than me.
“He loved playing his guitar, he had about ten of them. He’d be asked to play down the pubs but he was so shy I’d start playing my guitar and I’d count him in, telling him ‘Come on, son’. He loved all types of music.”
He added: “Billy also did Kung Fu, and he got the highest score his instructor had ever seen when he did his first belt. He went on to do a competition against belts higher than him and he won three medals. Everything he did he just took to it.
“Never once in his life did he get into trouble, he just wanted to help people.
“We lived on Niddrie Terrace when Billy was growing up, and we were poor. I remember once I had to get us a few slices of bread and some beans because we had no money, and Billy just opened up his money box and said, ‘Look, dad, I’ve got money.”
Billy’s partner of 11 years, Laura, 29, described how they had been “inseparable”.
She said: “His parent’s had a caravan at Pease Bay and we’d go every week. We got together when we were 18 and that was our space. We loved taking adventures.
“My girls are going to grow up without their dad. My little Lucy keeps repeating that her dad is ‘up in the sky’. We’ve got hundreds of videos and photos, but he’s no longer with us. He worked so hard, all he wanted to do was provide for his family.
“He would play Nellie the Elephant on the guitar for his girls and, whenever we play that video for them now, they look around for him.
“I’m a widow at 29. We were inseparable, we loved each other so much. I’ll never know that comfort ever again. I have to hope to meet him again some day.” Billy, who went to Portobello High School, worked at Dunedin Canmore Housing Association as a handyman. He leaves behind a brother, Johnny, 18, and sister Lee, 33.
Following the collision, the 28-year-old driver of the Subaru was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with a suspected broken pelvis, along with the 46-year-old male driver of the Peugeot with a suspected broken collarbone.
An inquiry into the crash will take place next week.