A VICAR is asking for the return of a bike his sons were riding before they died in a helicopter crash, which was stolen from a hospital.
The bike belonged to Reverend David Hill and was used by his two sons before their deaths in the Grand Canyon in 2018.
Stuart and Jason Hill from Worthing died along with Stuart’s girlfriend Becky Dobson and newly married Ellie Udall from Worthing and Jonathan Udall from Brighton.
All five passengers survived an initial crash, but died when the helicopter turned into a fireball after a hole in the fuel tank.
Reverend Hill, who works as Worthing Hospital’s chaplain, had left his £2,000 bike locked outside the hospital on Lyndhurst Road around 8.15am on Tuesday 19 July.
However, when he returned at 5:05 p.m. that day, it was gone.
The bike, a Scott Scale hardtail carbon bike, featured a distinctive white and yellow frame, silver pedals, and a white saddle.
Reverend Hill said the bike was used by his sons before they died and has “tremendous sentimental value”.
“This was the last bike my adult children rode before they went to America where they perished in the Grand Canyon,” he said.
“I hope that insurance will cover the monetary value of the bike but there is nothing that can replace the fact that this was a bike with tremendous sentimental value.
“The bike itself is worth around £2,000 but the emotional value is absolutely priceless. I’m devastated it was stolen. ”
Officials investigating the theft have conducted a series of inquiries to try to recover the bike and are now hoping the release of the CCTV footage could lead to the identification of the suspect, who is shown using an unknown tool to get it break the lock and move away from the scene the bike.
They are also appealing to anyone who sees the bike, either in the area or for sale, to get in touch so it can be returned to its rightful owner.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact police online or by calling 101, citing serial number 62 dated 08/10.
Reverend Hill added: “Sometimes we hear people say the police don’t get involved in petty theft, but they’ve shown me they care and I appreciate their efforts.”
At an inquest in Horsham last November, coroner Penelope Schofield concluded all five people died as a result of a tragic accident after pilot Scott Booth lost control in a violent gust of wind.
Mr Booth, who lost both his legs in the crash, had failed his annual pilot’s check shortly before the crash, the inquest says.
At the inquest, Reverend Hill said the trauma of losing his “irreplaceable” sons was life-robbing.
“We wish with every fiber of our being that this had never happened,” he said.
His wife Sandra said the couple suffered every parent’s nightmare.
Jason, 31, was a lawyer while his brother Stuart, 30, was a car salesman.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20673174.worthing-vicars-bike-ridden-sons-helicopter-crash-death-stolen/?ref=rss Worthing vicar’s bike, being ridden by sons, was stolen before helicopter died