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Charity ride cyclist Christian Smith killed in crash

image copyrightKent Police
image captionChristian Smith started his 24-hour "Kent Epic" fundraising ride on Friday

A cyclist has been killed in a crash with a car in Kent while on a 24-hour charity bike ride.

Christian Smith, 38, from Boughton Aulph, near Ashford, Kent, was raising money for mental health charity Mind when he died on the A2990 Old Thanet Way, near Chestfield, Whitstable.

An 18-year-old car driver was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and causing death by dangerous driving.

She has been bailed until 26 July pending further inquiries.

The crash, involving a Peugeot 206, happened at 04:00 GMT on Saturday.

Mr Smith was declared dead at the scene.

He began his "Kent Epic" 248-mile trip round Kent and Sussex on Friday.

On his JustGiving page he said he wanted to support Mind to raise awareness of the support it offered and to help end the stigma attached to people with mental health problems.

"I have had my own misfortune to suffer from a spate of poor mental health, which was unexpected and has been a real 'game changer' in how I now view the future," he said.

"It has been a tough road to get to this point, but I have been fortunate enough to have the support of my family and friends."

'Unfathomable loss'

Donations, some made after Mr Smith's death, had reached £1,300 on Sunday morning and rose to more than £11,000 by 15:00 GMT.

Mr Smith's target was £1,000.

Messages included: "I don't know what to say, we are in total shock. Christian, what you were trying to achieve shows the man you were xxx RIP," from Dan and Claire Calnan.

image captionAccident investigators were at the scene of the crash for several hours

Another message said: "What a massive, unfathomable loss. We are all struggling to make some sense of it, and there isn't any. RIP Christian."

Mr Smith's family have asked for their privacy to grieve to be respected.

Kent Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the crash to come forward.

Mind said it would contact Mr Smith's family to offer condolences and support.

Chief executive Paul Farmer, said: "We were shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Christian Smith.

"Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this extremely difficult time.

"Mind is grateful for the continued dedication of all our fundraisers, without whom we would not be able to support the hundreds of thousands of people affected by mental health problems across England and Wales."

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  • Kent Police

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