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Tributes to victims of A20 crashes

CHRIS SIM: his parents were very proud of him
CHRIS SIM: his parents were very proud of him

FAMILIES and friends of two young men killed in separate accidents on the A20 have been paying tribute to them.

Christopher Sim, 20, from Headcorn Road, Sandway, Lenham, near Maidstone, died after the motorcycle he was riding collided with a car at Charing, near Ashford on Saturday, October 7.

Two days later, on the same main road, Jon Nowotny, also 20, from Maidstone, was killed when his car hit a tree on the Ashford Road stretch near Bearsted.

This week, friends and family left a large number of flowers and cards at each accident scene.

Mr Sim, a former pupil of Swadelands School, Lenham, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two men in the car involved were freed by firefighters from Ashford and taken to the William Harvey Hospital with multiple injuries.

Mr Sim’s mother Angela said: “I’m just so grateful to all the people who stopped and tried to help our son and to all the people who have sent messages of support and sympathy.

“I can’t believe how many people’s hearts Chris seems to have touched. Roger and I are so grateful to you all and so very proud of our son.”

Mr Nowotny, a former student at Cornwallis School, Maidstone, was killed just after 9pm, on Monday, when the blue Ford Escort he was driving came off the road opposite the entrance to the Marriott Tudor Park Hotel.

Firefighters from Maidstone cut him free but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A friend who attended Cornwallis School in Hubbard’s Lane, Linton, with Mr Nowotny, was among those to pay tribute.

The 21-year-old said: “Jon was always smiling, and was kind and caring and always up for a laugh. He didn’t deserve to go.”

Sonette Schwartz, deputy head of NLL Cornwallis, said the school had sent a letter of condolence to Mr Nowotny’s parents.

She added: “I had the privilege of teaching Jon when he was in Years 10 and 11. He was a delightful young man in every way and very popular with staff and students.”

Many others laid flowers and cards at the roadside at the spot where their loved ones died.

In Bearsted, tributes to Mr Nowotny included a bunch of lilies with a card which read: "I will always love you – Keri."

Officers are appealing for anyone who may have seen what happened or may have information that will help with their inquiries. Witnesses should call 01622 798538.

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