Saturday 3 December 2016

Two footballers and personal trainer named among seven dead in air crash tragedy

Dominic Harris, Helen William and Rachael Burnett

Published 23/08/2015 | 12:30

Family handout photo of Matthew Grimstone, 23, who died in the Shoreham Airshow crash, when a Hawker Hunter jet ploughed into the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex, exploding in a huge fireball. Family handout/PA Wire
Family handout photo of Matthew Grimstone, 23, who died in the Shoreham Airshow crash, when a Hawker Hunter jet ploughed into the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex, exploding in a huge fireball. Family handout/PA Wire
Emergency services and crash investigation officers work at the site where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed onto the A27 road at Shoreham near Brighton REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
Police tape across a road near to the site where seven people died when an historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted on to the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Three of the victims of the Shoreham Airshow crash have been named as Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, and personal trainer Matt Jones.

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The footballers were on their way to play a match against Loxwood FC when they were caught up in the incident.

The death of Mr Jones, 24, was confirmed on Facebook by his sister, Becky Jones, who said: "Thank you to everyone who has messaged me. We are devastated to say Matt Jones was one of the fatalities."

Read more here: 11 people now feared dead in Shoreham air crash  

Mr Grimstone was a goalkeeper with the non-league club, while Mr Schilt played in midfield.

The game against Loxwood, which was due to kick off at 3pm at Worthing United's Robert Albon Memorial Ground in Worthing, was called off following the tragedy.

The trio were among seven people killed when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed into the A27 after it failed to pull up from a loop manoeuvre during a display at the show.

The plane plummeted on to the A27 and burst into a huge fireball, ploughing across the busy road just yards from cars and a group of people.

Horror scene: Emergency Services attend the scene after a jet crashed onto a busy road
Horror scene: Emergency Services attend the scene after a jet crashed onto a busy road
A plume of smoke rise over the countryside

Several cars were hit by the burning aircraft, police said, one of which was a wedding car on its way to pick up a bride to take her to her wedding, the Sun On Sunday reported.

Read more: Seven die as jet crashes onto busy road

The pilot, named in reports as British Airways pilot Andy Hill, is fighting for his life in hospital in a critical condition.

Some 14 people were injured, four of whom were taken to hospital, after the jet crashed at around 1.20pm yesterday, shortly after beginning its display in front of thousands of spectators.

Worthing United play in the Southern Combination Football League Premier Division, and were division two league and cup winners last season.

Littlehampton Town Football Club, which plays in the Southern Combination Football League Premier Division, tweeted its condolences, saying: "Our thoughts and condolences to Worthing United FC for the tragic loss of Matt and Jacob in yesterday's incident.

"Our thoughts also to local lad Matt Jones known by many of the players who also tragically lost his life in the incident at Shoreham."

Team-mate Dean Gilmour paid tribute to Mr Schilt and Mr Grimstone, saying: "RIP Jacob Shilts & Matthew Grimstone - two absolute gents, taken away from us so early in life you will never be forgotten!! Love you boys."

A fellow player, tweeting as @markiovelli, added: "Devastated to have lost two team mates and wonderful people. It was a privilege to share a pitch with you. My heart goes out to your families, RIP.

"I have four medals I am most proud of, wouldn't have any of them without you. Numb. RIP Matt Grimstone and Jacob Schilt. No words ..."

Specialist recovery teams have begun to remove bodies from the scene with "every possibility that other victims will be found" during the process, Sussex Police said.

Chief Superintendent Tony Blaker, head of operations for Sussex Police, said: "Our priorities now lie with supporting those who have been affected by this desperately tragic incident.

"The task of recovering those who died has commenced and then there is a significant investigation to take place, jointly held by the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Tean and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

"That is likely to extend over several days. We should have a better idea of that timescale over the next 24-36 hours.

Flowers laid on the Shoreham Tollbridge that crosses the River Adur near the site where seven people died when an historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted on to the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Flowers laid on the Shoreham Tollbridge that crosses the River Adur near the site where seven people died when an historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted on to the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Flowers laid on the Shoreham Tollbridge that crosses the River Adur near the site where seven people died when an historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted on to the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre. Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

"In the meantime, the road will remain shut and even at the weekend that is having an impact on traffic on local roads. Obviously, people do need to travel and will be returning to work on Monday, but I would ask that the further away you are able to divert around Shoreham, the better."

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