AN Inverness bus driver killed in a crash on the Black Isle has been described by his wife as a warm and loving man.
Mohamed Chache tragically died when his bus overturned after colliding with a bridge near Munlochy on Friday.
Nine passengers were on board at the time and three remained in Raigmore Hospital earlier this week, in a serious but stable condition.
The death of the popular 50-year-old, from Cradlehall, has prompted many fond tributes to a man who loved his job and passengers.
Zanzibar-born Mr Chache moved to the Highland capital 17 years ago after marrying his wife, Sandra, who spoke on behalf of all his family and friends.
“My husband was the warmest, most loving man I knew,” she said. “People warmed to him very easily. He was so sociable and charming. He was very inclusive and very humorous.”
She wanted to thank people for their messages of support.
“Mo would have been devastated to know this accident has resulted in injuries and harm to the passengers he cared deeply for,” she said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my best wishes for their speedy recovery.”
Mr Chache also leaves a mother, six brothers and two sisters who live in Zanzibar.
Previously, he ran a taxi and small tourism business in Zanzibar and also lived and worked in Sweden on two occasions.
After moving to Inverness, he became a porter at Raigmore Hospital and then, after passing his bus driver’s test, worked first with Sandy Rapson and then Stagecoach when it bought the firm over.
He was also passionate about football and played for several local amateur teams in the Inverness area as well as being a long-time Arsenal supporter. He took a keen interest in Inverness Caledonian Thistle too.
Colleagues at Mr Chache’s workplace are also mourning his death.
A statement issued by Stagecoach North Scotland said: “The thoughts of everyone at Stagecoach are with the family and friends of our driver, as well as the passengers who were injured in the accident.
“Our driver was a popular member of staff at our Inverness depot and had been with the company for around 12 years.
“We are providing support to his family and work colleagues and we are continuing to help the police with their investigation into the cause of the accident.”
Friends and colleagues have also posted messages on social media while a JustGiving page has also been launched.
Janice Carol Robertson said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was told it was Mo. I saw him last on Tuesday evening. One of the lovliest, cheeriest, chattiest, most helpful drivers I’ve seen at Stagecoach. They’ve lost a good one!”
Megan Cavanagh said he would be missed by everyone.
“RIP Smiler,” she said. “Such a lovely person and you were always smiling away.”
Chris and Gail Davison described Mr Chache as “a lovely man”.
“To your family we give our condolences at this sad time,” they said.