Merthyr taxi death: family tribute to soldier Lee Foley
The family of a soldier who died after a New Year's Eve collision with a taxi in Merthyr Tydfil have paid tribute.
Lee Foley, 26, from Penydarren in the town, served in Afghanistan as a lance corporal in the Royal Engineers.
He died in hospital following an incident at 22:10 GMT on Saturday at the junction of the eastern by-pass and Church Street.
In a statement, Mr Foley's family said: "Lee was a very caring person who put other people's needs before his own."
"He was a larger than life practical joker, with a cheeky grin, and he'll be missed by all that knew him, especially by his sister Lyndsey and his parents Paul and Sian, who were often the butt of his pranks."
Mr Foley's family said he was a keen rugby player as a boy, and later took up kickboxing, representing Wales in the world championships in Greece where he came fourth.
He worked at St Merryn Meat before joining the army at the age of 21, "looking for a challenge".
Within two years Mr Foley won promotion to lance corporal, and returned home in March following a six-and-a-half month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
His partner, Amanda, said: "All my life, I've waited to meet someone like Lee - the most beautiful, amazing, caring person in my life. Love you forever my gorgeous boy - millions, billions, and trillions. Xxx"
The family have asked that only family flowers are sent to the funeral, but that donations could be made to the Help the Heroes charity.
A police family liaison officer is currently supporting the family as the South Wales force continues to investigate the incident involving a black Vauxhall Astra estate taxi.
Officers say Mr Foley was seen in the company of a woman beforehand.
South Wales Police have appealed for anyone saw the incident, or the movements of Mr Foley or the taxi beforehand, to contact the Roads Policing Unit on 101.