Sussex

Shoreham air crash: Funeral held for Daniele Polito

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Media captionThe service was a celebration of Daniele Polito's life

Hundreds of people have gathered at the funeral of one of the 11 victims of the Shoreham air crash.

Daniele Polito, 23, was travelling in the same car as another victim, Matt Jones, when a vintage jet crashed and exploded on the A27 in West Sussex last month.

About 200 friends and family attended the ceremony at Worthing Crematorium, described as a "celebration of life".

Mr Polito was described as "lovely" during the service.

Donations will be given to a trust for Mr Polito's son.


Image caption The coffin was decorated with colours and pictures of Mr Polito's favourite sweets

At the scene: Piers Hopkirk, BBC News

Daniele Polito's family insisted that this would not be called a funeral - it was, they said, a celebration of his life.

And from the grinning photo of him that adorned the order of service, to the coffin decorated in the colours of his favourite sweets, it was a service where laughter won out over tears.

Two hundred people packed into Worthing Crematorium for the service.

In the eulogy, delivered by his brother Carl Clarke, Daniele was described as being "impulsive, cheeky, foolish, loyal, annoying and loving. A wholly real, flawed, lovely kid".

"I can't pretend there have been many positives to come out of the last few weeks," he said.

"But there has been one - I have had the chance to get to know my brother all over again - and it's been a delight."


'Overwhelmed by kindness'

In the days after the crash, Mr Polito's sister Marina wrote on Facebook: "I know many people loved him and will miss him loads, but as long as we keep him in our hearts and memories, he will never really leave us."

And she wrote she had been overwhelmed by the kindness of people who had supported the family.

Further tributes were paid to the air crash victims at the weekend.

A sponsored walk took place in memory of footballer Jacob Schilt, who played for Worthing United.

And a minute-long applause was held at a Brighton and Hove Albion match on Saturday for Mr Schilt and Matthew Grimstone, who worked as a groundsman at Brighton's Amex Stadium.


The victims:

Image copyright BBC/Sussex Police/Facebook
Image caption (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, Graham Mallinson
  • Matt Jones, 24 - a personal trainer
  • Daniele Polito, 23 - he was travelling in the same car as Mr Jones
  • Matthew Grimstone, 23 - a Worthing United footballer who worked as a groundsman at Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Jacob Schilt, 23 - a Worthing United player travelling to a match with Mr Grimstone
  • Maurice Abrahams, 76 - a chauffeur on his way to pick up a bride on her wedding day
  • Richard Smith, 26, and Dylan Archer, 42 - friends who were going for a bike ride on the South Downs
  • Mark Reeves, 53 - he had taken his motorcycle to the perimeter of Shoreham Airport to take photos of the planes
  • Tony Brightwell, 53, - an aircraft enthusiast who had learned to fly at Shoreham airfield
  • Mark Trussler, 54 - thought to have been riding his motorcycle on the A27
  • Graham Mallinson, 72 - a keen photographer and retired engineer

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