THE grieving wife of a Tranent man killed in a tragic accident in Haddington has paid tribute to her “cheeky, proud and adored” husband.

Daniel McFarlane died last Tuesday after he came into contact with an overhead power line when extending new window cleaning equipment at his home on the outskirts of Haddington.

The 36-year-old was testing the equipment, designed to clean the windows of tall buildings, when he was fatally injured.

Daniel’s wife of seven years, Ria, was inside the couple’s home at the time with their 10-month-old daughter Frankie Joy.

Ria said: “We think that when he was extending the pole he hit a cable.

“There is still an investigation going on as to what happened, but I don’t want to know any more about it; to me it was a horrible, tragic accident.”

Dylan Johnstone, an employee of Daniel’s company, Vortex Cleaning Solutions, who ran to his aid, was also injured and is recovering in hospital.

Ria added: “I thought they were playing a sick joke on me when Dylan came and got me; I really didn’t believe what had happened. I went outside, and I saw Dan, and it was awful.

“We called for the ambulance, and everything went crazy from there: there were so many people at our home trying to help him.”

Daniel was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where he was pronounced dead.

A former Ross High School pupil, he was known by friends as ‘the legend of Tranent’.

Ria and Daniel lived together in Tranent before receiving the keys to their Haddington cottage on April 30.

Ria, from Dunbar, said: “Dan always said he felt like a traitor moving from Tranent to Haddington. He was such a proud born-and-bred Tranent man.”

The couple met at a friend’s wedding in 2012, before marrying in February 2014.

Ria said they knew straight away they were destined to be together.

She said they had never planned to have children and were surprised but overjoyed when she fell pregnant with their daughter Frankie Joy.

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Ria described their 10-month-old daughter, who was born on July 11 during the coronavirus lockdown, as a blessing.

She said: “Dan absolutely loved being married. Some people might have said I changed him, but he truly loved being a married man. He loved being a daddy, he took on his new role as a father so well and he was so proud of me and Frankie.”

Their families have been overwhelmed by the support of the community, friends and strangers amid the tragedy.

Community stalwart Davie Martin, of Tranent, set up a GoFundMe page last Friday which has reached more than £25,000 in donations so far.

Ria said that Dan loved living in the moment and did not have life insurance: “He didn’t even have a bank account when we met – he lived with the spare change in his pocket and that’s the way he liked it. He didn’t get caught up in the small things, he lived for the moment.

“He was the life and soul of every party; he was so funny, cheeky and full of life. Everybody liked Dan: he put people at ease, he made people feel good about themselves and he made people feel special.

“I have had so many messages from people saying that Dan had touched their lives; he always offered a smile and kind words, he would never see anyone upset.”

Daniel worked all over East Lothian with his cleaning company, Vortex Cleaning Solutions.

Ria said: “He had a lot of elderly customers who loved him, and he cared about them.

“He would always shut their gates, take their green bins out for them; he always remembered if a client’s husband had been in hospital, and he would offer his help and check up on them. He retained all that information and would come home to tell me about all these people that he cared for so much.”

As for the many Facebook tributes to him, she added: “It just proved how much of an amazing individual he is.

“There were people everywhere writing about him, friends, people that had only met him once. I found comfort in those posts and stories; it has been really impactful.”

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Daniel, a former pupil at Tranent’s St Martin’s Primary School, enjoyed an array of hobbies, from football to owning fish.

Ria said at one point her husband had accumulated 13 fish tanks.

In a post on Facebook, Tranent-based East Lothian Aquatics said: “Daniel loved his fish, especially his catfish, and would talk to customers or anyone about them.

“He first came into the store as a young man over 12 years ago, with a Peaky Blinders bunnet on, saying, ‘You’re no fae around here, I’ll keep you right, everybody kens me in Tranent’; he did, and they do.

“Daniel, I will miss seeing your big cheesy smile coming through the door, your cheery nature, brutal banter and your friendship.”

‘Dan the Man’, a naturally gifted football player, recently returned to Pencaitland Amateur Football Club after a few years away from the sport.

The team held a minute’s silence and a minute’s applause for Daniel before their match with Tranent AFC – one of his former teams – at the weekend.

A Pencaitland AFC member led a tribute on Facebook, saying: “Dan has been a mainstay with us the last two years and has brought so much experience and joy to the club. He was with Pencaitland as a youngster, after being with Hibernian Youth.

“He conquered all one season with Pencaitland to win every domestic trophy available and finished as top goal scorer.

“He will be sorely missed by us all, an absolute gentleman.”

Daniel also played for Tranent Juniors as a youngster.

He also adored his pet dogs. Ria said their pets have been distraught since his passing, noting that one of their dogs has cried for two days straight.

She added: “I can’t sleep some nights, so I have the dogs and Frankie in my bed with me, and that is comforting.”

She added that Daniel’s five brothers and two sisters, along with his large family from Prestonpans, were a blessing to her and Frankie.

Ria added: “Dan was a wonderful husband: he loved being a new daddy to our Frankie and I take comfort in that.”

Days before Dan’s tragic passing, the couple enjoyed a family outing.

Ria said: “Only the previous Saturday we were out on a bike ride with Frankie, and he turned to me and said that this was the best day of his life.

“I jokingly said, ‘not the day we were married?’ There was something about that day that made him so happy, I will cherish it forever.

“Dan was a happy man, and so proud.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “We were made aware of a 36-year-old man injured at a rural property near Haddington around 4.45pm last Tuesday.

“The man was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh where he was pronounced dead.

“Enquiries to establish the full circumstances are ongoing but there are no apparent suspicious circumstances.”

Daniel McFarlane’s funeral service will take place at 10am on Saturday, June 19 at St Martin’s Church, Tranent, with restricted numbers due to Covid-19.

Daniel’s family are welcoming community members to stand outside St Martin’s Church on Haddington Road and, afterwards, attend the burial at Binning Memorial Wood, Tyninghame, should they wish too.

Donations can be made to Daniel’s GoFundMe page: