THOUSANDS of balloons were released into the sky in memory of Matt Jones, who was tragically killed in the Shoreham air disaster.
The aspiring personal trainer, 24, from Little-hampton, was travelling to the beach with Daniele Polito, from Worthing, when the car they were in was hit by a Hawker Hunter vintage plane during its display at the Shoreham Airshow.
Devastated family and friends were joined by hundreds of people from the local community to release balloons at Littlehampton seafront on Saturday afternoon.
Organiser Shellee Spector, 24, from Wick, had known Matt since he was 11. They went to school together and he was best friends with her brother.
Speaking of the event, she said: “It went amazingly. It was beyond my expectations by miles. All I could see was a sea of heads.
“You hear about these sort of things in the news and you don’t expect it to be you. When it touches you so close, when you’ve grown up with someone and have really fond memories of them and they are taken in a second it hits home how life is so short. I wanted to do one last thing for him, a tribute and to say goodbye.
“It was a beautiful moment. His family were there and I know it gave them a little bit of a positive in this tragic situation.”
Shellee estimated that around 5,000 balloons were released in total. Some of those who knew Matt but could not make it to the mass release filmed footage of them releasing balloons and posted it to the events Facebook page.
More than £6,000 in donations have been raised for Matt’s family since his death.
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