The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
22°C | 11°C
21°C | 13°C
22°C | 12°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Ashford News Article
The family of a cyclist tragically killed in a crash while on a fund-raising bike ride have paid tribute to the father of three who 'will always be so dearly loved.'
Christian Smith's relatives were speaking after he died following the crash with a blue Peugeot 206 at 4am on the A2990 Old Thanet Way on Saturday.
Now a JustGiving appeal set up by Christian - who would have celebrated his 39th birthday today - has already raised more than £68,000.
Mr Smith was raising cash for mental health charity Mind, after suffering from mental illness himself.
In a statement released today the 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.
"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."
Tributes have poured into the JustGiving site, which has seen more than 5,000 donations.
Sandy Evans said: "We didn't know you but are saddened beyond words to learn of this tragedy during your selfless efforts to raise money for a great charity.Our thoughts are with your family and friends.Love,the Evans'."
Olga Danes-Volkov said: "Mental health, still one of the last taboos.
"What a tragedy that this man should be killed doing such an amazing thing for charity. Remembered always."
Now police are trying to trace a taxi driver thought to have been in the area at the time of the crash.
"His story has touched cyclists and mental health sufferers, families and individuals across the world" - Christian Smith's family
Jamie Woodhams, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Kent Police, said: "Information has come to light regarding a taxi, which is believed to have passed the scene shortly after the collision travelling from the Chestfield/Swalecliffe roundabout towards Whitstable.
"I do not believe this driver was involved in the collision but I believe he or she could hold valuable information for us and I'd urge the driver to contact me as soon as possible."
Two people have been arrested in connection with the crash.
A 19-year-old man, from the Herne Bay area, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
An 18-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and driving with excess breath alcohol.
Both have been bailed until July.
Click here for more news from Ashford.
Click here for more news from around the county.