Shoreham Airshow Disaster: More families pay tribute to victims

Tearful loved ones paid tribute to the remaining eight of the Shoreham Airshow’s 11 disaster families on the second day of the inquest.

Eleven men died in the August 2015 tragedy when a vintage plane crash landed on the A27 near the airport in a devastating fireball.

In the eight feather portraits, families told of missed opportunities and shortened lives at the hearing.

A coroner told the 11 men’s families that “everyone wanted to put their arms around them.”

Chief Medical Examiner Penelope Schofield told the families, “It was extremely difficult to hear and witness your pain.”

Mark Trussler, 54, rode his motorbike to Shoreham to watch the airshow.

His daughter Samantha Hollis, 34, fought back tears and said: “Once he was taken he was made a grandpa and he would have made the best grandpa for my little girl.

“I can hear him say he’s too young to be a grandpa. I am so proud to be his daughter and tell you all what a wonderful man he was.”

The Argus: Top row: Matthew Jones, Dylan Archer, Richard Smith and Maurice Abrahams. Bottom row: Mark Reeves, Anthony Brightwell, Mark Trussler and Daniele PolitoTop row: Matthew Jones, Dylan Archer, Richard Smith and Maurice Abrahams. Bottom row: Mark Reeves, Anthony Brightwell, Mark Trussler and Daniele Polito (Image: The Argus)

Giovanna Chirico described Mark as the best partner and father.

“He could turn any bad day into a smile. He loved all of his six children with every ounce of his being.

“No words will ever come close to explaining the loss we all feel.

“He may be gone, but he’s living off his self, his kids and friends.”

Mark’s son Luke said at the inquest at County Hall North in Horsham: “My father made me the man I am today.

“He was my hero.”

Mark Reeves, 53, from Seaford watched the airshow from the airport junction on the A27.

He has been described as a devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother who moved to the South Coast in his retirement to be near the sea.

The inquest was told his death left “an enormous void”.

Richard Smith, 26, from Hove, was cycling to the South Downs National Park with his friend Dylan Archer when they were both killed.

Richard had celebrated his birthday with a barbecue on Brighton beach the night before the crash. He had no idea the airshow was taking place.

The investigation revealed that both parents worked in air traffic control and his father regularly volunteered to work at air shows and his younger brother joined the RAF.

His youngest brother, Edward, lost interest in restoring vintage aircraft.

The Argus: Eight families paid heartfelt tributes to their relatives who died in the Shoreham Airshow disasterEight families paid heartfelt tributes to loved ones who died in the Shoreham Airshow disaster

Dylan Archer, 42, from Brighton, was a company boss and “a devoted family man”.

In a statement, his family said they would like to be able to live and mourn in peace.

They used a poem by Cecil Day Lewis to express their grief. “Too soon we saw his light go out.”

Maurice Abrahams of Brighton was working as a chauffeur on the day of the crash.

The 76-year-old was on his way to pick up a bride for her wedding.

Through the family attorney, his son Edward said, “Our lives are in shambles.”

In a statement read to the inquest, his daughters said the excitement and distress is so fresh and still raw seven years later.

Mr Abrahams had a passion for classic cars and even appeared in an episode of the Poirot detective series driving one.

“We must never let the memories of these 11 men be forgotten,” his daughters said.

Anthony Brightwell, from Hove, was Head of Social Services at Brighton and Hove City Council.

The 53-year-old had cycled from the A27 to the air show.

In a tribute to the investigation, his family said he was a kind, loving man.

His passion for aircraft and WWII history brought him to Shoreham to see one of the final flights of the Vulcan bomber.

His death was described as an indescribable loss.

“He was always smiling and thinking of other people,” his family said in their pen portrait.

Matthew Jones, 24, from Littlehampton, was traveling home from working as a construction worker with his friend Daniele Polito.

His parents said, “What changed that day?


Daniele Polito, 23, lived in Goering.

His sisters said he had a charm no one could resist.

They described him as enthusiastic, fun-loving and caring who puts his son, family and friends first.

“We wish he had a little more time.

“Time may advance but our grief remains the same because we know he was not able to live his life as he should and we continue to live our lives with his loss,” his sisters said in a statement.

The Argus: The moment the Hunter Hawker crashedThe moment the Hunter Hawker crashed (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

The inquest heard brief details on each man’s cause of death before being adjourned until Monday.

Ms Schofield told the families: “Hopefully we will start to give you some answers.”

The long-awaited investigation is expected to last at least two weeks. Shoreham Airshow Disaster: More families pay tribute to victims

Fry Electronics Team

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