AN inquest has opened into the death of a ‘loving’ dad who died following a car crash near Middlewich.

Paul Orange, of Peach Way, Winsford, was killed when his Ford Focus was involved in a collision with two HGVs.

The crash happened shortly after 4.45am on Thursday, January 18, on the A54 Middlewich Road, near the junction with Birch Lane.

Emergency services rushed to help, but, sadly, the 37-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

Northwich Guardian: Paul Orange and daughter IylahPaul Orange and daughter Iylah (Image: Supplied)

Area coroner Victoria Davies confirmed the cause of death was ‘unnatural’ at Warrington Coroners’ Court on Wednesday.

The case will be reviewed on March 31 and an inquest date has been set for May 3.

Paul’s family has paid tribute to the ‘happiness and joy’ he brought to their lives.

Northwich Guardian: Bottom from left, Paul with mum Cath, brother Chris and stepdad IanBottom from left, Paul with mum Cath, brother Chris and stepdad Ian (Image: Supplied)

A spokesman for the family said: “We are devastated at the loss of our kind, caring, and compassionate Paul.

“Paul was pleased to have begun a new job just three days before his death, and he was looking forward to an exciting new chapter in his life with his much-loved partner Julia and children.

“Many people will miss the happiness and joy Paul brought into their lives, particularly his daughter Iylah, his mother and stepfather Cath and Ian, his brother Chris, and so many friends and relatives he sadly leaves behind.

“Since his passing, many people's kind and considerate comments and actions have provided us with comfort and support as we continue to deal with our terrible loss.”

Paul was a skilled upholsterer with almost 20 years' experience.

He was also a huge football fan, and a keen golfer and snooker player.

He leaves behind his loving partner, Julia Hopley, 10-year-old daughter, Iylah, and Iylah's co-parent, Hailey Bleakley.

Scott Wilde, a close friend of Paul for 22 years, said: “It doesn’t feel real. He wasn’t the type of guy to risk his life.

“He was a family man, and he was still at a really young age.

“We were childhood friends. I will miss everything about him.

“He was very bubbly, and he was always smiling and an all-round decent guy.

“He was very close with his family, especially his brother Christopher who he did everything together with.”