Feb 28 2008
A YOUNG man has died after sniffing lighter fuel in a tragic experiment which went wrong.
Gareth William Watkin Hughes, 23, had been sniffing the fuel in the back of a friend’s car near Bangor.
To their horror, he stopped breathing and collapsed.
His friends called for an ambulance which rushed him to Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor.
Doctors put him on a life support machine but it was too late to save him.
Gareth, a mechanic of Cil Isaf, Caernarfon, known to his friends as Gags, died later that night, last Saturday.
His family said yesterday that they wished to warn others of the dangers of sniffing lighter fuel.
Gareth, one of seven siblings, had gone out with friends, who, it is believed, were experimenting with the lighter fuel in a friend’s car at Glasinfryn near Bangor.
Gareth’s fiancée, Ceri Roberts, 18, of Yr Hendre, Caernarfon, said she first knew something was wrong when she received a phone call from one of his friends telling her to go to hospital.
She told the Daily Post: “We don’t know much at the moment but believe he’d taken lighter fuel.
“He’d gone with a mate to see one of their other friends.
“One of his friends phoned me to tell me to go to casualty.
“He was a lovely young man and liked going out with his friends.
“He was great with kids – his nephews and niece – and they adored him.
“When we got engaged Gareth said he’d marry me one day.
“We had planned on having children.”
The couple had been together for four years.
One of Gareth’s sisters, Emma Hughes, 26, from Hiraul, Bangor, said: “Unfortunately Gareth and his friends were playing around with lighter fuel – with tragic consequences for him.
“It was the first time he’d ever done it.
“He stopped breathing. His friend phoned for an ambulance.
“He collapsed and was put on a life-support machine but his heart wasn’t working.
“We want to warn people about the dangers of experimenting or playing with lighter fuel.
“We hope this will be a lesson for others.
“It was a terrible and unexpected shock.
“An inquest is going to be held into what was a tragic accident. From what we know, the post-mortem has not yet been concluded.”
Emma added: “He was easy-going and always had a smile on his face. He always wore a baseball hat.
“He liked messing about with and fixing cars. His other interests were fishing and playing golf.”
Gareth worked as a mechanic at Vixen Steels, Llanberis.
He had been brought up in Dyffryn Nantlle and attended Ysgol Talysarn and Ysgol Baladeulyn before the family moved to Caernarfon and he went to Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen.
Since the tragedy his friends have painted “In loving memory” on the side of his souped-up Nova car.
A North Wales police spokeswoman yesterday confirmed that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Gareth Hughes’s death and the coroner had been informed.
by Hywel Trewyn, Daily Post