Shoreham plane crash survivor Michael Sturgess 'escaped death' after act of kindness by limousine driver

Michael Sturgess said there was 'someone looking down on' him and his young son after they narrowly avoided death

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A survivor of the Shoreham plane disaster whose car was engulfed in flames in the immediate aftermath of the crash has described the chance moment he says helped him narrowly avoid death.

Michael Sturgess was travelling in a BMW with his eight-year-old son, Louis, when the Hawker Hunter jet crashed onto the A27 during an air show on Saturday afternoon, killing at least 11 people.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Sturgess described how he was let out on to the busy dual carriage by Maurice Abrahams, the driver of a Daimler wedding limo which was caught up in the crash.

A former paratrooper, Mr Abrahams, 76, was driving to pick up Rebecca Sheen to take her to her wedding in Findon, West Sussex. Pictures taken by eyewitnesses taken after the crash show the roof of the Daimler having been ripped off.

Emergency services attend the scene of the crash near the Shoreham Airshow grounds

Mr Sturgess said: “I came onto the A27 and then he let me in because the traffic was so bad. We went through the through the traffic lights, the traffic lights went red, and that's when he got hit.”

He said his son witnessed the plane coming down and suggested they go back to speak to the police.


Mr Sturgess has laid flowers at the scene in memory of Mr Abrahams and the others who have died and says he plans to send flowers to his family.

Mr Abrahams’ family paid tribute on Tuesday saying he was a “well-respected and loved father and husband”, according to the Daily Mail.

They said: “He enjoyed his work chauffeuring his beloved Daimler car and he enjoyed gardening.

“He was proud to have served in the Grenadier Guards and the Parachute Regiment. He served in Cyprus and Bahrain with the UN.”

He later joined the Hampshire Police in his thirties and in his sixties he and a neighbour tackled a knife wielding car thief to the ground, according to the Brighton Argus.

Police are urgently trying to trace the whereabouts of seven other possible victims including Daniele Polito who was travelling with victim Matt Jones and Matt Trussler, a motorcyclist whose fiancee Giovanna Chirico has appealed for information on.