Kent

Family of Mind charity cyclist Christian Smith 'moved beyond belief'

Christian Smith Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Christian Smith started his 24-hour "Kent Epic" fundraising ride on Friday

The family of a man who was killed while on a charity bike ride have said they are "moved beyond belief" by the outpouring of support since his death.

Christian Smith, 38, was raising money for mental health charity Mind when he was in a collision with a car on the Old Thanet Way, near Chestfield, Kent.

More than £68,000 has poured in to his JustGiving webpage since his death on Saturday.

Mr Smith had a target of £1,000 for his ride, circumnavigating Kent and Sussex.

The father-of-three, from Boughton Aluph in Kent, began his 24-hour "Kent Epic" 248-mile trip on Friday.

The crash, which involved a blue Peugeot 206, took place on the A2990 at about 04:00 GMT. Mr Smith was declared dead at the scene.

'Great comfort'

In a statement released through Kent Police, his family said: "Even in the depths of our grief we are moved beyond belief at the outpouring of love and support that has been shown by so many, especially as most didn't even know Christian.

"His story has touched cyclists and mental health sufferers, families and individuals across the world.

"He is a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend who will always be so dearly loved and remembered.

"We are all so proud of everything that he has achieved. His death was tragic and we pray that no one else has to suffer similar sorrow and heartache.

"Christian had a great sense of humour, he loved life, his family and was a dedicated cyclist."

Mr Smith's family and friends posted a statement on his JustGiving page thanking the donors who have helped smash his fund-raising target.

It said: "Taking on this challenge was Christian's way of doing something positive to make sure that people facing mental health problems are not alone, and the many messages of support and generosity of donations are a great comfort to us at this extremely sad and difficult time."

A man, 19, and a woman, 18, were later arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and subsequently bailed.

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