Southampton builder Nick Davies left final message for best friend minutes before dying in blazing van at Chandler's Ford

Desperate last message of man who died in blazing van

The van after the fire in Chandler's Ford

Nick Davies, whose body was found in a blazing van in Chandler's Ford

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter, New Forest

HIS final act was to call his best friend just before 5am and tell him why he was about to take his own life.

Minutes before he died in a blazing van, Nick Davies described his despair in a farewell message to colleague Chris Buchanan.

Mr Davies, 43, of Radstock Road, Southampton, poured out his feelings in a tearful voicemail left on Mr Buchanan’s mobile.

In the message he called Mr Buchanan his “bestest, closest friend” and indicated why he wanted to take his life.

Mr Davies named the people he wanted to carry the coffin at his funeral, then broke down in tears as he ended the call with the words: “Chris, I love you like a brother.”

Minutes later fire crews were called to Donnington Drive in Chandler’s Ford and found Mr Davies’ body in a burning Citroen Berlingo van.

Mr Buchanan, who runs a Southampton-based building services company, said: “The police came to my door at 6.20am on Sunday because the van was registered to me, although I let Nick use it.

“He left the message on my office mobile and I didn’t get it until the next day.

“When I played it back I burst into tears.

“Nick was the life and soul of the party.”

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Mr Buchanan, 41, of Warsash, had known Mr Davies for 26 years.

They were once employed as doormen at pubs and clubs in the Southampton area but for several years had worked together in the building trade, travelling all over the south.

Mr Buchanan said Mr Davies was divorced and had two sons who he thought the world of.

Mr Buchanan spoke out in a bid to counter what he described as negative comments left on a social networking site following the tragedy.

“Nick was a rough diamond,” he said.

“We had a love-hate relationship. One day we’d love each other and the next we’d hate each other, but a couple of pints later and we were best friends again.”

In the call, Mr Davies apologised for his occasionally aggressive attitude, adding: “I didn’t even know I was being horrible to people.”

Mr Buchanan said: “I think that was an apology to me. Nick liked to air his views and always got right to the point.”

Describing Mr Davies as a good colleague who worked extremely hard, he added: “He was a brilliant bricklayer who was something of a perfectionist. You could never fault his work.”

Mr Buchanan said he had no idea why his friend decided to kill himself outside a house in Chandler’s Ford.

The couple who live in the property spoke to the Daily Echo the day after the tragedy occurred in the early hours of Sunday.

They said they did not know the man who died. They added that their daughter was in shock.

Mr Davies’ colleagues have been left devastated by his death.

Police are not treating the incident as suspicious and no arrests have been made.

As officers continue their investigation Mr Buchanan and his workmates, Andrew Alexander, Andy Foreman, Ryan Fisher, Chris Hall and Steve Healey, are trying to work out what drove their friend to take his own life.

The Daily Echo understands Mr Davies’ family do not wish to comment.

Comments (9)

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12:40pm Wed 6 Feb 13

ReverendPaul says...

Another life lost in such sad circumstances. There is support available for those who are bereaved under this and similar circumstances and I would encourage people to seek help and support rather than hold in their feelings and grief. www.sobshampshire.bt
ck.co.uk or they can email me direct on sobshampshire@gmail.
com
Another life lost in such sad circumstances. There is support available for those who are bereaved under this and similar circumstances and I would encourage people to seek help and support rather than hold in their feelings and grief. www.sobshampshire.bt ck.co.uk or they can email me direct on sobshampshire@gmail. com ReverendPaul
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Wed 6 Feb 13

hulla baloo says...

sad decision for all but I wish the Echo could get the story straight. 1st paragraph says he phoned his friend to say why, later saying his friend read the voicemail message. Then later says he had no idea why his friend did this.
sad decision for all but I wish the Echo could get the story straight. 1st paragraph says he phoned his friend to say why, later saying his friend read the voicemail message. Then later says he had no idea why his friend did this. hulla baloo
  • Score: 0

1:44pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Forest Resident says...

Perhaps the Echo and its reporters should learn to think of this poor mans children and those of the other poor woman who's recent sudden death they also grotesquely reported upon. Some things just don't need dragging through the press in order to sell a few more papers, or are Echo journalists completely devoid of human empathy after all?
Perhaps the Echo and its reporters should learn to think of this poor mans children and those of the other poor woman who's recent sudden death they also grotesquely reported upon. Some things just don't need dragging through the press in order to sell a few more papers, or are Echo journalists completely devoid of human empathy after all? Forest Resident
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Wed 6 Feb 13

foresthorse says...

Grotesquely reported on? Or simply reported grotesque deaths. They are NEWS stories - which is why they are in NEWSpapers. The clue's there somewhere ...
Grotesquely reported on? Or simply reported grotesque deaths. They are NEWS stories - which is why they are in NEWSpapers. The clue's there somewhere ... foresthorse
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Forest Resident says...

foresthorse wrote:
Grotesquely reported on? Or simply reported grotesque deaths. They are NEWS stories - which is why they are in NEWSpapers. The clue's there somewhere ...
I would suggest it is indeed grotesque reporting when a child learns of their mothers death solely because the Daily Echo has pitched camp in front of her home and published photographs of the address no less than an hour after the time of death.
[quote][p][bold]foresthorse[/bold] wrote: Grotesquely reported on? Or simply reported grotesque deaths. They are NEWS stories - which is why they are in NEWSpapers. The clue's there somewhere ...[/p][/quote]I would suggest it is indeed grotesque reporting when a child learns of their mothers death solely because the Daily Echo has pitched camp in front of her home and published photographs of the address no less than an hour after the time of death. Forest Resident
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Yves1977 says...

Forest Resident wrote:
foresthorse wrote:
Grotesquely reported on? Or simply reported grotesque deaths. They are NEWS stories - which is why they are in NEWSpapers. The clue's there somewhere ...
I would suggest it is indeed grotesque reporting when a child learns of their mothers death solely because the Daily Echo has pitched camp in front of her home and published photographs of the address no less than an hour after the time of death.
so what would you rather - some sort of committee to decide when papers can publish news?
[quote][p][bold]Forest Resident[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]foresthorse[/bold] wrote: Grotesquely reported on? Or simply reported grotesque deaths. They are NEWS stories - which is why they are in NEWSpapers. The clue's there somewhere ...[/p][/quote]I would suggest it is indeed grotesque reporting when a child learns of their mothers death solely because the Daily Echo has pitched camp in front of her home and published photographs of the address no less than an hour after the time of death.[/p][/quote]so what would you rather - some sort of committee to decide when papers can publish news? Yves1977
  • Score: 0

2:43pm Wed 6 Feb 13

TEBOURBA says...

ForestResident -- you are absolutely right --- I support your views 100%.
SDE always invites comments on tragedies such as this one --- whether it be someone throwing themselves under a train, a small child killed by a motorcycle or cyclist hit by a car on his way to work.
The result is cretins on here making stupid comments without any feeling or respect for the friends and relatives of the deceased.
SDE has been doing this for years and should stop it.
ForestResident -- you are absolutely right --- I support your views 100%. SDE always invites comments on tragedies such as this one --- whether it be someone throwing themselves under a train, a small child killed by a motorcycle or cyclist hit by a car on his way to work. The result is cretins on here making stupid comments without any feeling or respect for the friends and relatives of the deceased. SDE has been doing this for years and should stop it. TEBOURBA
  • Score: 0

5:31am Thu 7 Feb 13

skeptik says...

Very sad, I know Mr Buchanan (Chris) and his lads, hard working, very good tradesmen with the Buchanan 'humour'- I hope they will accept my condolences - a good crew has lost a mate.
Very sad, I know Mr Buchanan (Chris) and his lads, hard working, very good tradesmen with the Buchanan 'humour'- I hope they will accept my condolences - a good crew has lost a mate. skeptik
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Fri 8 Feb 13

lisa whitemore says...

please have some respect and take your debates elsewhere,hardly the time or place!
Have known Nick over 25years, this has come as such a shock to all who knew him, Nick is a highly respected person amongst us,i only hope he is now at peace. R.I.P Mate.x
please have some respect and take your debates elsewhere,hardly the time or place! Have known Nick over 25years, this has come as such a shock to all who knew him, Nick is a highly respected person amongst us,i only hope he is now at peace. R.I.P Mate.x lisa whitemore
  • Score: 0

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