A talented student froze to death when he attempted to walk nine miles home after a night out in freezing temperatures.
Ali Bunney, 20, had been at a club celebrating a friend’s birthday and decided not to take his coat out because he didn’t want to pay for the cloakroom.
But Ali became separated from his pals in Cheltenham, Glos., and set off towards his girlfriend’s home in Gloucester at around 2am last Sunday morning – wearing just a shirt and trousers.
It is thought he became sleepy and cold, suffering the onset of hypothermia, and climbed over a hedge in an attempt to reach Gloucester Airport for shelter.
Ali’s path, however, was blocked by the high perimeter fence and he was discovered unconscious by a dog walker – his body temperature just 22 degrees – later that day.
Medics battled for more than three hours to warm him up but Ali died, just weeks before he was due to celebrate his own 21st birthday.
Ali’s distraught mother Marissa, 55, from Gloucester, said: “We can’t believe what’s happened.
“It was not his time to die. Maybe if he had been found earlier it would have been different.
“He does not even drink really – they said he only had a few rum and cokes.
“I think it must have been a mix of tiredness and a bit of alcohol and he was just so tired from walking and it all just combined together.”
Caring Ali had been staying at his girlfriend Summer Pineda’s house and had attended her little sister’s first birthday before heading into Cheltenham for a friend’s 21st party meal.
The keen walker’s mobile phone was not working and when he lost his friends he headed back home and was spotted by a motorist walking along the A40 Golden Valley bypass at 3.20am.
Officers started to look for him but he was not discovered until the following afternoon, about four miles into his trek.
Gloucestershire Airport’s fire crew fought to revive him and he was rushed to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital where medics spent three hours trying to save his life.
Dad Nigel, 56, a civil servant, said: “He was so cold. He was only 22 degrees.”
Mum Marissa, a rehab officer, added: “He went up to 27 degrees but they said they could do no more. It was very sudden.
“The post mortem has said it is pulmonary edema with hypothermia. He probably weakened while he was walking and his internal organs just stopped working properly.
“He was very tired because he has been up very late on Friday preparing for Summer’s family party and then up again very early on Saturday.
“We are from the Philippines and Filipino people like to help preparing properly for family birthdays.
“I thought about calling his girlfriend the next day, but I did not want to wake them up because they had been busy.”
Talented Ali, who was in his first year of an economics and accounting degree, shared a flat in Cardiff with his brother Jefferson, 18.
Shocked Jefferson said: “We don’t know for sure why he left and why he started walking.
He said he never told his big brother how he was a “massive part of his life”.
Posting a tribute on Facebook, he said: “I couldn’t thank him enough for everything I’ve learnt from him, being two years behind.
“He could make me laugh when I least expected, he always cares and he’s the best at motivating me.
“I’m so confused…why you Ali? Too fast, too soon man!
“I really wanted to see him turn dreams into his future.
“I wouldn’t have told him – but he’s a massive part of my life.”
Dad Nigel said his “saint of a son” would be missed by everyone who knew him.
He said: “He was very patient and caring, and a very well-liked person.
“As far as I was concerned, he was an absolute saint of a son and a joy to be with.”
The Gloucestershire Coroner has been informed of Ali’s death and an inquest was expected to be opened yesterday.