Festival-goer dies after becoming separated from family at Radio 1’s Big Weekend

A young man died after becoming separated from his family at Radio 1's Big Weekend.

Isaac Powner, 23, disappeared on Saturday and his loved ones desperately tried to find him.

His body was found in the road shortly after 9.30pm, and two vehicles were involved in a collision.

Isaac's heartbroken stepsister Gemma Braithwaite told Teesside Live that he had been having a "great time" earlier.

She described him as "the most beautiful man with everything to live for".

Gemma said a message was sent to a family Whatsapp group from Isaac's mobile phone at 9.27pm, and that was the last they heard from him.

"He had been at the festival with his family and was absolutely fine, he had been dancing around and having a great time," said Gemma.

"They got separated and were trying to link back up with each other.

"At 7.20pm he sent a message saying he was waiting by the waltzers. His cousin James, who was like a brother to him, went to look for him but couldn't see him.

"Then there was no communication until the message."

It is thought that Isaac took his own life but an inquest will be opened into his death.

He had been due to go back the following day to enjoy the festival with his girlfriend Bethany Golden.

The couple, who had been together for over a year, had also just booked a 2020 holiday together.

Gemma said Isaac had been looking forward to watching Miley Cyrus headline the festival that night, as he was a big fan. But he never got to see the star.

Police are now examining CCTV to track Isaac's movements that night.

The young man had a speech impediment, which he would mention after a few drinks, said Gemma.

"When he had a drink he would say he was unhappy about it and that it got him down," she said.

"Only when he was drunk he would bring it up, saying he was embarrassed about it."

She does not believe Isaac sought medical help for any mental health issues.

"Although when he had a beer or two he mentioned being unhappy, not one single friend or family member knew these thoughts were real," she said.

"We all thought it was the drink talking."

Isaac lived with his mum Suzie Henderson-Thynne in Linthorpe, and was an adored little brother of Robyn Powner, 27, and much-loved stepbrother to Gemma, 33, and Chantelle Ward, 30.

He had spent time working in Benidorm with his dad Paul Powner who runs a bar in the Spanish town with Isaac's stepmum Janet.

Paul flew back to Teesside following the devastating news and faced the agony of identifying his son's body.

All the family is struggling to come to terms with their loss but Gemma said they are close-knit and are all supporting each other.

Gemma said: "He was so funny, so happy, outgoing, popular and with so many friends.

"Everyone says it but Isaac really was the life and soul of the party. I don't think he realised just how popular he was."

Isaac was also a huge Middlesborough fan and as a youngster he was invited to be a mascot, when he was pictured beaming with the players.

"He went to every single Boro game, he would spend his last penny on them," said Gemma.

"He lit up our lives. He always had a smile and was always making others smile.

"He was one of the most genuine, nicest people you could ever meet with an absolute heart of gold.

"We are all completely heartbroken by this and it shows you just never know what’s going on behind those smiles."

She urged people to look out for signs of mental health issues in their loved ones, particularly young men.

"We need to break the taboo of 'men are strong' and 'don’t cry' to help save their lives," she said.

"Please stop telling young males to ‘man up’ and 'stop being a wimp'.

"It really is OK not to be OK. Some people are fighting a battle even the closest to them don’t see."

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: "We are shocked and saddened to hear the news and our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time."

A fundraising page  has been set up to help pay for Isaac's funeral.

* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at  [email protected] 

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