A north-east councillor has paid tribute to his “amazing” wife after she died over the weekend from injuries sustained in a car crash five years ago.
Natalia Argyle, wife of councillor Peter, never recovered from the accident in which she sustained life-changing injuries and never fully regained consciousness.
Mrs Argyle, 49, had been driving from Aberdeen to her home in Torphins when her vehicle collided with a white DAF lorry on November 22, 2013.
She suffered a broke ankle, broken pelvis and a “heavy blow” to her head in the accident, which occurred at the Kirkton of Skene junction, on the outskirts of Westhill.
Her husband was at home at the time with their son, then aged 21 months, when police arrived to tell him what had happened.
Initially it had been hoped that the Russian-born anaesthetist would recover, but after numerous brain scans her husband was forced to accept that he would have to “struggle on with life without her”.
Cllr Argyle spoke of his loss and said she had been “an amazing woman” and would be “greatly missed” by him and their six-year-old son Sasha.
The deputy leader of Aberdeenshire Council met his wife in 2006, “completely by chance” in a “very crowded” coffee shop in Aberdeen.
Mr Argyle said: “We shared the same table and just started chatting. We found we were both into hill-walking.
“I was staying in a house that overlooked Lochnagar at the time and she said that was her favourite hill – it just grew from there.
“We married just over a year later in Aboyne and a few years later bought this house together.
“She had a great passion for hill-walking and we often went on walks together.”
Natalia originally came to Scotland as part of a medical party travelling with children affected by the Chernobyl disaster.
She fell in love with Scotland and decided to stay, becoming a fellow of the UK’s Royal College of Anaesthetists in 2012.
Mr Arygle, 61, said: “I spent Friday night sitting next to her before I had to head home to collect Sasha, but she died before we could go back at around 10.30 on Saturday morning.
“We will miss her terribly.”