A FORMER Accrington family doctor has been killed in a road accident that has also left his wife fighting for her life.
Popular Dr Ian Gavin, of Balmoral Road, Accrington, died after his Nissan Almera saloon was in collision with a Vauxhall Corsa on the A59 near Sabden on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Gavin, 76, died from his injuries at the scene.
His wife Elaine, 66, suffered serious head injuries and was airlifted to the Royal Preston Hospital where she was yesterday described as "poorly but stable".
The driver of the Corsa, Wen Feng, 20, of Paynter Close, Clayton-le-Moors, suffered a broken ankle in the smash. The doctor's vehicle was travelling towards Preston when the accident happened.
Dr Gavin, known to generations of patients, was one of the founders of the Peel House Medical Centre in Accrington in 1969.
Carole Pilkington, practice manager, said: "We are all very shocked and saddened. Dr Gavin is still remembered by large numbers of patients, as well as by doctors and staff, as a very caring and compassionate gentleman. Our thoughts are obviously with his wife."
He also supported the East Lancashire Hospice for over 15 years, offering support to staff one day a week on a voluntary basis.
Former colleague Dr Peter Carter, the medical director at the hospice, who knew him for over 35 years, said: "I relied on him for his experience and support. He was a great colleague.
"He was a jovial Scot with a wicked sense of humour and was well-liked and respected by everyone. Our thoughts are now with his wife and family."
Neighbour Mrs Hilda Thompson, who lives in the house opposite, paid tribute to Dr Gavin.
She said: "You couldn't wish to meet a nicer man. He always stopped to say hello when he went walking. He loved walking with his wife Elaine and he also loved gardening."
Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: "He was very friendly and they were a devoted couple. They went on holidays and shopping and were always together. He was a family doctor from the old school of medicine. He was very caring and endearing as a professional. All his patients spoke highly of him."
Dr Gavin leaves a stepdaughter Janice and her husband Daryl Cuddihy, who were at Mrs Gavin's bedside and too upset to talk.
A date has yet to be fixed for the funeral and all inquiries should be made to Wolstenholme's Funeral Service in Accrington.