Tributes to Russell Long killed in Cumbria crash

Russell Long and his partner Nina
Image caption Russell Long's partner Nina described him as her soulmate

Family, friends and work colleagues have paid tribute to man who died when his car left a road and overturned.

Russell Long, 38, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on the B5307, near Kirkbride, Cumbria, on Wednesday.

He was an on-call firefighter for the county's fire service and had worked as a mechanical fitter at packaging firm Innovia Films for 21 years.

His family said he had been "a very special friend to many".

His partner Nina said: "Russ was my soulmate and always will be. He was my best friend. I loved him so very dearly and I always will, my heart is broken.

"He played a massive part in our lives, both mine and my daughter Leah's."

'Gained respect'

In a statement, his parents and brother Allister, who found his brother and was at his side when he died, said he was loved and respected by many people.

They said: "He was caring, dignified and fair, a friend in need to countless and a very special friend to many.

"A giant of a man whose size was only surpassed by his personality, generosity and selflessness, and this is the legacy he has left to all who had the privilege to know him."

Cumbria's Chief Fire Officer Dominic Harrison said Mr Long was a "respected and valued" colleague who had been an on-call firefighter since 1997.

"Over the past 16 years his professionalism, dedication and commitment was shown time and time again at numerous incidents, often alongside his brother Allister who is also an on-call firefighter at Wigton," he said.

An Innovia Films spokesman said: "He worked on the whole site and was one of those rare people that gained respect wherever he worked.

"He has been described as a gentle giant who had a heart of gold."

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