Scots student killed in NYC car crash


A “hugely popular” Scots student has been killed in a car crash while visiting family in New York.

Patrick Gearns pictured here with a friend

Edinburgh University undergraduate Patrick Gearns was hit by a car as he tried to cross the road in his home city.

He was taken to a local hospital but died after suffering major chest and head trauma.

The 21-year-old, who was a keen musician, was described by friends as a “great guy” and “popular.”

Patrick was home from university for the Christmas holidays at the time of the accident.

He died two days before New Year’s Eve on December 29 after failing to regain consciousness following the accident.

His mother, Aki Gearns, paid an emotional tribute to her son, who she said she believed was with his father in heaven.

She said: “He suffered massive head trauma and was already unconscious by the time he was taken to the hospital. His lungs and legs were also damaged. The doctor told me that his injuries were severe, and even if they saved him he would never wake up completely.

“I begged the doctor to save him, but he said that Patrick would most likely not survive.

“I could not believe that my son’s life was in danger. I was holding him for ten minutes when I realised that his body was getting very cold. The hospital staff asked me to leave the room and after a few minutes his heart stopped.

“Patrick died without suffering and I believe his is with his father in heaven.

“I still can’t believe that Patrick is dead. Many friends told me that my soul will heal as time goes on, but I don’t think it will heal forever,” she said.

Patrick was in his third year of an International Relations degree at Edinburgh University and ran a successful promotions company for UK students.

A funeral service was held for Patrick on January 9 in New York and was attended by friends and family all over the world.

Floods of tributes for the tragic student poured in from his friends who spoke of his “huge personality” and “love for life”.

His best friend, Ciaran Dawson, who also attended Edinburgh University, said: “He was a great guy, very entrepreneurial. You couldn’t walk down a street without him having to stop to speak to someone. He absolutely loved living in Edinburgh.

“He’d been there three years and was back home for Christmas.

At his service there were people from all around the world who came especially for it. He was the most popular kid I’ve ever known.”

Patrick, who died at Stonybrook hospital in Long Island, was known by friends for his entrepreneurial skills and ran We Own, a successful promotions company, which organised concerts for students across the UK.

He attended Harrow School in London before moving up to Edinburgh to pursue his degree at the city’s University.

A Facebook tribute page for Patrick was set up by best friend Ciaran and described him as having as a “huge personality” and “love for life.”