Sussex

Shoreham air crash: Dylan Archer and Richard Smith named as victims

Dylan Archer and Richard Smith Image copyright Other
Image caption Dylan Archer and Richard Smith had been on a cycling trip

Two friends embarking on a cycle ride were victims of the Shoreham air crash that claimed 11 lives, police said.

Dylan Archer, 42, and Richard Smith, 26, were killed when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed into the busy A27 at about 13:20 BST on 22 August.

The pair had been heading for a cycle trip on the South Downs Way when the crash happened.

The A27 has now partially reopened with a 40mph speed limit imposed, as investigations continue.

Mr Archer, the director of a Brighton IT company, leaves behind his partner Alice and their two sons, aged 15 and 12.

In a statement, his family said his "dry humour and generous nature will be greatly missed by all who knew him".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The number of floral tributes grows every day

Mr Smith had worked in a bicycle shop in Cosham, Portsmouth, Hampshire, his family said.

Two years ago he moved to Hove where he worked in marketing and web development.

His family said: "Richard's passions in life were for his family, friends and his beloved bikes. His boundless enthusiasm was infectious.

"He was a truly wonderful, caring and loving person."

Victoria Marie Peck, Mr Smith's girlfriend, posted on Facebook: "I still can't put into words just how much he meant to me. He was the first person I saw in the morning and the last person I saw at night.

"It is hard to feel such pain and not be able to turn to the one person who could always make me feel better. He was my everything."

'I love you too'

Earlier Giovanna Chirico, the fiancée of victim Mark Trussler, paid tribute to him.

She said he had taken his motorbike to Shoreham as he wanted to see the last flight of the Vulcan.

"It was a nice day and I texted him when the flight was due," she said.

"He replied saying I should get the kids ready so we could take them out to lunch on his return. I said I loved him and he replied 'I love you too, forever.'

"I didn't hear from him again."

His daughter, Samantha Hollis, said: "My dad was my best friend and the best father anyone could ask for.

Image copyright other
Image caption Mark Trussler, centre, was at Shoreham as he wanted to see the last flight of the Vulcan plane
Image copyright other
Image caption Samantha Hollis said her dad was her best friend
Image caption The A27 was closed for just over a week following the crash of the Hawker Hunter during the Shoreham Airshow

"I will painfully miss him every day. I am very proud to be his daughter; he was loved by so many."

Mr Trussler, 54, leaves behind six children - Samantha, Kaitlin, Luke, 12, Mia, 10, Sophia, three, and two-year-old Alicia.

Reverend Ann Waizeneker of St Mary de Haura Church in Shoreham said many people in the town were still in shock.

"We've seen a constant stream of people through the church this week, signing the book of condolence, lighting a candle, and sitting quietly and saying a quiet prayer," she said.

"There's a great sense of love around at the moment."

On Saturday, a minute's silence was held near the site to mark one week since the air show disaster.

Image caption Hundreds gathered on a bridge in Shoreham on Saturday to mark a week since the disaster

Hundreds of mourners gathered on a wooden toll bridge overlooking the crash site on Saturday to hold a minute's silence at the exact time the plane plummeted into traffic one week before.

Later, large crowds gathered for a candlelit vigil on the nearby the Adur Ferry Bridge to create a "bridge of light".

The West Sussex coroner, Penelope Schofield, has said all 11 victims have now been formally identified and their families informed.

Inquests into the deaths of the 11 victims will be opened and adjourned on Wednesday at County Hall North in Horsham, where all the names of those killed will be officially released.

Sussex Police said it has no reason to believe anyone else had died.

Image copyright Dominic Lipinski/PA
Image caption Candles were laid on Adur Ferry Bridge on Saturday evening in memory of the victims

Following the crash and resulting fireball, specialists - including forensic archaeologists, anthropologists, odontologists and pathologists - had to examine DNA, teeth and human remains to discover who died.

The wreckage of the plane has been sent to Farnborough in Hampshire where the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) are trying to determine the cause of the disaster.

Their initial findings are expected to be published in the next few days.

Two lanes have been opened on the eastbound carriageway towards Brighton, together with one lane on the westbound carriageway.

A 40mph speed limit has been imposed while investigators continue to work in the area.

The victims

Image copyright BBC/Sussex Police/Facebook
Image caption The victims known so far: (top row, left to right) Matt Jones, Matthew Grimstone, Jacob Schilt, Maurice Abrahams, Richard Smith (bottom row, left to right) Mark Reeves, Tony Brightwell, Mark Trussler, Daniele Polito, Dylan Archer
  • Matt Jones, a 24-year-old personal trainer was named by his sister Becky on Facebook
  • Matthew Grimstone, 23, was a player for Worthing United FC and worked as a groundsman at Brighton and Hove Albion
  • Jacob Schilt, 23, also played for Worthing United and was travelling to a match with team-mate Mr Grimstone
  • Maurice Abrahams, 76, from Brighton was a chauffeur on his way to pick up a bride for her wedding
  • Mark Reeves, 53, had ridden his motorcycle to the perimeter of Shoreham Airport to take photos of the planes
  • Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove was an aircraft enthusiast and had learnt to fly at Shoreham airfield
  • Mark Trussler is thought to have been riding his motorcycle on the A27.
  • Daniele Polito was travelling in the same car as Matt Jones. Sussex Police have not confirmed his death
  • Friends Dylan Archer and Richard Smith were going for a bike ride on the South Downs

The pilot, Andy Hill, remains in a critical but stable condition in an unnamed specialist hospital.


What we know so far about the air disaster

Who were the victims?

Jet restrictions announced

'Like a bomb exploding' - eyewitness accounts

The air crash in pictures


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