Family's tribute to Australia crash victim Sean Barrett

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The family of a scientist from London who was killed in a car crash soon after landing in Australia has described him as a "brilliant mind".

Sean Barrett, 36, a doctor of quantum physics at Imperial College London, had taken a taxi from Perth airport and it was hit by a stolen car, police said.

Dr Barrett, who was due to speak at a conference, and the driver of the taxi were killed in the crash on Friday.

The scientist's family said his death was a "loss to science".

Start Quote

He was a charismatic man who had the rare gift to light up any room”

End Quote Sean Barrett's family

In a statement, Dr Barrett's family said: "Sean was a brilliant mind, and a brilliant man.

"Anyone who had the pleasure to meet him in physics and beyond would tell you that.

"He was a charismatic man who had the rare gift to light up any room.

"He is a loss to science, and to life.

"Rightly, his family, friends and his colleagues whom he leaves behind are devastated."

Dr Barrett worked in London but was originally from Salford.

Earlier the local media reported both men had died at the scene while the driver of the Toyota Landcruiser, who was arrested and charged with manslaughter, was taken to hospital.

Assistant Commissioner Gary Budge said the vehicle had been reported stolen.

The driver of the stolen car "proceeded through a red light at speed".

A police helicopter had been in pursuit of the car but the chase was stood down.

The officer said there was no evidence to suggest the car was being chased at the time it crashed into the taxi.

Mr Budge said: "It is difficult to imagine the trauma the two families must be feeling today and I want to pass on our condolences to both of those families and tell them we will provide all the support that is possible."

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