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Kent men killed after car plunges 1,000ft from Austrian mountain road


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The heartbroken father of one of the victims of yesterday's double death crash has described his son as a bright young man who “touched many people’s hearts.”

Marcus Robinson paid tribute to 22-year-old Josh Robinson who with Danny Hall, 25, was killed when their car crashed in Austria.

Both young men, from Ashford, died when their Seat Leon fell 1,312 feet from the Grossglockner High Alpine Road near the village of Fusch.

Danny Hall and Josh Robinson on the Great European Rally
Danny Hall and Josh Robinson on the Great European Rally

Mr Robinson said: “I know I’m his father but you would be stretched to find anyone who had a bad word to say about him.

“He didn’t have a bad word to say about anyone either. He was very outgoing, popular, bright and easygoing.

“He touched so many people’s hearts. He was such a nice man.

Josh Robinson with brother Dan
Josh Robinson with brother Dan

“We’ve been quite humbled by amount of tributes that have been paid to him online.

“He was already a successful businessman with his own company and was about to buy his first house.

“Things were pretty dandy for him. He wanted to enjoy his life and talked about settling down at about the age of 30.”

Josh Robinson
Josh Robinson

Mr Robinson said his son and Danny had left for Austria on Friday, July 17 to take part in a touring rally visiting sites in Austria used in major TV programmes and films such as Top Gear and James Bond’s Goldfinger.

The 46-year-old said: “We don’t even know who was driving at the time as they had both been thrown clear of the car when it crashed. And they had been taking turns at the wheel throughout the trip.

“The Austrian police have already told us that they think this was purely a tragic accident. The car skidded and went through a crash barrier.”

Mr Robinson understands the accident happened at about 7am Austrian time - 6am English time - and the family had the dreadful news broken to them when Kent Police called at their home at 3pm yesterday.

Danny Hall, who died during a rally in Austria
Danny Hall, who died during a rally in Austria

Mr Robinson said he and wife, Jennifer, who also have another son Daniel, 26, intend to go to Austria to bring Josh home and are liaising with the Foreign Office and a funeral firm.

Josh, from Park Farm, went to Homewood School in Tenterden and by 21 had become the managing director of his own civil engineering company, Advance Rail, at the Ellingham Industrial Estate in Ashford.

The company has had contracts with major firms such as Costain and South East Rail Construction.

It has annual turnover of £150,000 and Josh travelled all over the country for his work.

Grossglockner in Austria
Grossglockner in Austria

He was a car and motor rally enthusiast who could rebuild vehicles but was also keen on extreme sports such as bungee jumping and snowboarding.

During much of his childhood Josh, who also leaves girlfriend, Ellie Barton, 19, had lived in Malaysia because of his father’s work as an engineer.

“The four of us were on our own out there and that made us a very close family,” said Mr Robinson.

An Austrian police spokeswoman said the pair had been taking part in the Great European Rally, which takes in seven European countries over eight days between the Belgian capital Brussels and Budapest in Hungary since July 18.

The high performance car broke through the guard rail of the Grossglockner High Alpine road.

Although a helicopter was called to recover the men from the ravine, both were reportedly pronounced dead at the scene.

A 42-year-old British man who had been in a Porsche behind them at the time had handed himself in to provide police with details of the circumstances of the accident.

The Alpine roads around Austria can be treacherous
The Alpine roads around Austria can be treacherous

In the days before the tragedy Josh and Danny had been chronicling their trip via Facebook writings and videos.

They had posted film online earlier this week, in which they detailed the dangers of the trip - described as having 36 hairpin bends.

Josh was filmed on Wednesday saying: "A biker's just been killed so we're kind of taking a bit of a pit stop - bringing it home though how dangerous it is."

Other film that day shows their car driving on the roads, showing full view of the hair-raising sheer drops and treacherously tight hairpin bends.

One of the men inside says: "The difference in driving around town, when there's a 50% chance you will die at high speeds, well guess what my friends, today there's a 100% chance you will die."

Dover Athletic Football Club posted a tribute on Twitter saying: "Our condolences go out to the friends and family of supporter Danny Hall, who tragically passed away today. #RIPDanny"

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