Friday 9 December 2016

'I love you too, forever' - last text man sent to fiancee before he was killed in Shoreham air crash

Tom Pugh

Published 30/08/2015 | 20:32

Undated family handout photo issued by Sussex Police of Shoreham air crash victim Mark Trussler, 54, with his daughter Samatha Hollis. Family Handout/PA Wire
Undated family handout photo issued by Sussex Police of Shoreham air crash victim Mark Trussler, 54, with his daughter Samatha Hollis. Family Handout/PA Wire
A minute's silence is held on the Old Tollbridge near the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex, close to the scene of the Shoreham air disaster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Tom Pugh/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by Sussex Police of Mark Reeves, who has been named as a victim of the Shoreham air disaster as investigations continue into what caused the disaster. Sussex Police/PA Wire
A girl (name not given) lays a candle during a candlelit vigil on the Adur Ferry Bridge in Shoreham, Sussex, in memory of the victims of the Shoreham Airshow crash. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Candles and flowers left during a candlelit vigil on the Adur Ferry Bridge in Shoreham, Sussex, in memory of the victims of the Shoreham Airshow crash. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 29, 2015. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
A woman holds a candle during a candlelit vigil on the Adur Ferry Bridge in Shoreham, Sussex, in memory of the victims of the Shoreham Airshow crash. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
File photo dated 26/08/15 of emergency services working on the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex, following the Shoreham air disaster. Steve Parsons/PA Wire
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @WestSussexFire of firefighters from West Sussex Fire & Rescue service observing a minute's silence to remember those who lost their lives in the Shoreham Air crash. @WestSussexFire/PA Wire

The fiancee of a Shoreham air crash victim has revealed his final words to her before he died in the disaster that claimed 11 lives.

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Mark Trussler, 54, told Giovanna Chirico "I love you too, forever" in a text message he sent before a Hawker Hunter jet plummeted on to the A27 in West Sussex.

Undated family handout photo issued by Sussex Police of Shoreham air crash victim Mark Trussler, 54, with his family, Luke, 12, Mia, ten, Sophia, three and two-year-old Alicia being held by his partner Giovanna Chirico, ( note: daughter Kaitlin is not in this picture) as his partner has revealed his final words to her before he died in the disaster that claimed 11 lives. Family Handout/PA Wire
Undated family handout photo issued by Sussex Police of Shoreham air crash victim Mark Trussler, 54, with his family, Luke, 12, Mia, ten, Sophia, three and two-year-old Alicia being held by his partner Giovanna Chirico, ( note: daughter Kaitlin is not in this picture) as his partner has revealed his final words to her before he died in the disaster that claimed 11 lives. Family Handout/PA Wire
A message from Shoreham Airshow Ltd is left with floral tributes are left on a bridge near the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex, close to the scene of the Shoreham air disaster. Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A woman lays flowers during a candlelit vigil on the Adur Ferry Bridge in Shoreham, Sussex, in memory of the victims of the Shoreham Airshow crash. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The disaster happened as the vintage plane failed to pull out of a loop-the-loop stunt during the Shoreham Airshow before crashing on to the road, exploding into a fireball.

Ms Chirico said father-of-six Mr Trussler, a window cleaner from Worthing, had taken his motorbike for a spin as he wanted to see the Vulcan flight.

Undated family handout photos issued by Sussex Police of Shoreham air crash victim Richard Smith, 26, who along with his friend Dylan Archer, 42, were heading on a cycle ride in the South Downs.
Family Handout/PA Wire
Undated family handout photos issued by Sussex Police of Shoreham air crash victim Richard Smith, 26, who along with his friend Dylan Archer, 42, were heading on a cycle ride in the South Downs. Family Handout/PA Wire

In a tribute released through Sussex Police, she said: "It was a nice day and I text him when the flight was due.

"He replied saying I should get the kids ready so we could take them out to lunch on his return. I said I loved him and he replied 'I love you too, forever'. I didn't hear from him again.

Undated family handout photos issued by Sussex Police of Shoreham air crash victim Dylan Archer, 42, who along with his friend Richard Smith, 26, were heading on a cycle ride in the South Downs.
Family Handout/PA Wire
Undated family handout photos issued by Sussex Police of Shoreham air crash victim Dylan Archer, 42, who along with his friend Richard Smith, 26, were heading on a cycle ride in the South Downs. Family Handout/PA Wire

"He was an amazing dad who had a passion for motorbikes and rugby. He would do anything for his kids and they couldn't have asked for a better dad.

"He loved all his family. He was happy-go-lucky and if you were down he would cheer you up. We are going to miss him terribly."

Undated family handout photo issued by Sussex Police of Tony Brightwell who has been named as among at least 11 victims to have died when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed on the A27. Sussex Police/PA Wire
Undated family handout photo issued by Sussex Police of Tony Brightwell who has been named as among at least 11 victims to have died when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed on the A27. Sussex Police/PA Wire

Two more victims were on Sunday night named by police - friends Dylan Archer, 42, and Richard Smith, 26, who were heading on a cycle ride in the South Downs.

IT consultant Mr Archer, a father of two who lived in Brighton, and Mr Smith, who lived in Hove, were due to meet up with a third friend.

Relatives of Mr Archer, who grew up in the Midlands, said he had a life-long passion for bikes and cars - and rode the bike he made himself on the day he died.

After going to university in Birmingham, Buckinghamshire-raised Mr Smith worked in a bicycle shop in Cosham, Portsmouth, Hampshire, his family said.

Two years ago he moved to Hove where he worked in marketing and web development at ActSmart, a firm which specialises in providing advice to the cycle industry.

His family said: "Richard's passions in life were for his family, friends and his beloved bikes. His boundless enthusiasm was infectious. He was a truly wonderful, caring and loving person.

"He leaves behind his partner Victoria, his parents Julie and Jonathan, and two much-loved brothers William and Edward. He will be so sorely missed by all who knew him."

ActSmart director Jonathan Harrison said: "We are all totally devastated by this tragedy and are still trying to come to terms with the loss of such a young, fun, individual who had endless potential in life and in his career."

Tributes to the latest victims to be named came after the A27 near Shoreham was partially reopened for the first time since the crash.

Two lanes have been opened on the eastbound carriageway towards Brighton, along with one westbound lane, Sussex Police said.

The other westbound carriageway remains closed while investigators continue to work on the verge. A 40mph speed limit has been imposed, police added.

Thousands of people from communities touched by the crash gathered at memorial events at the weekend.

A minute's silence was observed at 1.20pm on Saturday, the exact time the previous week that the plane crashed.

A mass balloon release was held in Littlehampton. And despite showers, large crowds gathered with tea lights to create a striking "bridge of light" across the Adur Ferry Bridge.

West Sussex senior coroner Penelope Schofield has announced that all victims have now been formally identified and their families told.

Inquests into their deaths will be opened and adjourned on Wednesday at County Hall North in Horsham where all 11 victims' names will be officially released.

Detective Chief Inspector Carwyn Hughes, the senior identification manager at Sussex Police, said they have no reason to suspect anyone else was killed in the crash.

Other victims include Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove, a health care manager for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Brighton and Hove City Council.

Grandfather Mark Reeves, 53, who died after parking his motorbike on the outskirts of Shoreham Airshow to take photographs of the planes, is also among the dead.

Worthing United footballers and best friends Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23, who were on their way to play in a match when they died.

Personal trainer Matt Jones, 24, was also killed, along with wedding chauffeur Maurice Abrahams, 76, a former soldier who had served in the Parachute Regiment.

The sister of Daniele Polito, a father from Worthing, wrote on her Facebook page of her "last few painful days" and the loss of her brother. Police have yet to officially confirm his death.

The jet crashed with such force that specialists - including forensic archaeologists, anthropologists, odontologists and pathologists - had to examine DNA, teeth and human remains to discover who was killed.

The plane wreckage has been sent to Farnborough, Hampshire, where Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) investigators will seek to find out what caused the crash. An interim report is due in the next few days.

The jet's pilot, Andrew Hill, was left fighting for his life after the crash, and has now been moved to a specialist hospital for treatment.

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