TRIBUTES have been paid to a promising international darts player, who died in a collision with a pick-up vehicle in the Highlands just days after being picked to represent Scotland.
Bryan Whyte, 34, died in a crash on the A82 between Spean Bridge and Fort William on Friday afternoon. The HGV mechanic and father of four from Spean Bridge was ranked 134th in the world and had been chosen to represent his country on Monday.
The collision happened at around 2:40pm near Torlundy, south of Inverlochy Castle Hotel. The driver of the pick-up vehicle was taken to the Belford Hospital but is not thought to have been seriously injured. The route was closed for around seven hours while investigators attended the scene.
Jim MacNeil, secretary of the Highland Darts Association, said Mr Whyte was a “true great” of the game, a gentleman and a “friend to all who met him”.
He said: “Highland Darts and Scotland at large have lost a true gentleman this week in tragic circumstances.”
Len Mutch, chairman of the Scottish Darts Association, said: “Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”
On Monday, after his selection, Mr Whyte, originally from Fort William, posted on his Facebook page: “Well absolutely over the moon made the Scotland team for the internationals in April so chuffed can’t wait to wear that shirt and hopefully do well for the team and play alongside Highland team mate Stevie Mitchell and Lynne shearer (sic) over the moon!!!!”
Mr Whyte, a former Lochaber High School pupil, held titles from the Buckie Open and Western Isles Open, amongst others.
He began playing darts in Lochaber, winning weekly competitions at the Tradeswind in Corpach, near Fort William, and then played regularly in Inverness. He was chosen to represent Highland in the Inter County Championship and attended Open tournaments in Wales, Europe and the Isle of Man, Mr MacNeil said.
Mr MacNeil added: “In all the teams that Bryan played for, his humour, honesty and integrity shone through and he endeared himself to everyone he met. He has been taken from us far too early but will always remain in our hearts. We will never forget him. RIP Bryan Whyte.”
Mr Whyte was ranked at joint 134th in the world at the time of his death, out of more than 1,200 on the World Darts Federation men’s listing.
He leaves behind his partner Dawn and their four children.
Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them on 101.