'We would give up everything to hold and kiss him again' - Fiance of 'amazing dad' killed in London tram crash
Published 14/11/2016 | 06:21
The fiance of a father killed in the Croydon tram crash has paid tribute to the "amazing dad", saying "we would give up everything to hold and kiss him again".
Mark Smith was described by his family as a devoted father to his 18-month old son and a "loving, caring, kind, loyal and popular young man".
The 35-year-old was among six men and a woman who lost their lives in Wednesday's tragedy, described by Mr Smith's relatives as a "soul-destroying event".
The glazier from Croydon, south London, who was on his way to work when he died, planned to marry partner Indre Novikovaite next year, according to reports.
Ms Novikovaite said Mr Smith would be "in our hearts forever and ever".
She said: "Mark was my lover, my best friend, my everything. He was, and still is, an amazing dad to our little boy.
"We would give up everything to hold and kiss him again.
"We love you to the moon and back, you are the best thing that happened in our lives."
In a statement Mr Smith's family said: "A star that shines twice as bright only shines for half its life, that was our Mark, a son we were very proud of.
"Our son Mark Smith was a loving, caring, kind, loyal and popular young man known to many. A devoted father and husband-to-be and loving brother to his sister.
"He touched many lives through the passage of his too-short life. His loss has devastated us all."
More than 50 people were left injured in the crash which occurred during the morning rush.
The driver of the tram was subsequently arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and questioned by police before being bailed until May.
On Sunday the family of Robert Huxley from New Addington, south London, paid tribute to the "larger than life" 63-year-old who was also killed when the tram derailed and flipped on its side.
"As you can appreciate for his loved ones it's been a difficult and uncertain time, the confirmation of his death only came late this afternoon," the statement read.
"Bob was a larger than life character and very hardworking. A loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, brother, uncle and dear friend to many. He was also a lifelong Chelsea supporter and a season ticket holder.
"This tragedy will have far reaching consequences and impact many people for a significant time. We are all heartbroken."
The family and friends of Donald Collett, 62, from Croydon, said they were "struggling to deal with this tragic news".
"Don was a well loved, funny and generous man, who could light up a room with his smile. He is tragically leaving behind a loving family, partner, adored friends and work colleagues," they said in a statement.
The family of Philip Logan, 52, from New Addington, said he would be "immensely missed by all that knew him".
"Philip Logan known to all who knew him as Loag, a loving husband to Marilyn, brother to Susan, father to Lee, Tracy, Lisa and Adele, grandfather and great grandfather. He was a true family man and generous friend to all with a magnificently dry sense of humour."
Mother-of-two Dorota Rynkiewicz, 35, from New Addington; Philip Seary, 57, a grandfather from Croydon and Dane Chinnery, 19, from New Addington, also died in the tragedy.
On Remembrance Sunday the seven victims were reportedly included in the town's annual commemoration service during which their names were read out.
The day before a group of up to 100 mourners marched to the scene and held a vigil where flowers and tributes had been left in memory of the victims.
The wrecked tram had earlier been removed from the site by lorry and taken away to be checked by investigators.
British Transport Police detectives and officials from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) are probing what led to the two-carriage tram leaving the tracks near Sandilands station at around 6.10am.
Officials said the tram was travelling at a "significantly higher speed than is permitted" as it entered a tight bend before flipping on to its side and sliding for a distance.
The driver, a 42-year-old man from Beckenham, south London, was arrested at the scene. It is understood that establishing if the driver was asleep or had blacked out are lines of inquiry.
An interim report into what happened will be published by the RAIB next week, with a final report, including any safety recommendations, coming at the conclusion of the investigation.