18th Oct, 2017

Alcester boy fights for life after plane crash kills parents

Stratford Editorial 5th Jan, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A SIX-YEAR-OLD from Alcester is fighting for life after a plane crash killed his parents.

Sally Tonkinson, 44, and Lewis Tonkinson, 50, died on Saturday (January 3) afternoon when their aircraft came down in Hampshire.

Their son, George, is said to be critically ill in Southampton General Hospital.

Hampshire Police confirmed the plane took off from Bembridge on the Isle of Wight before it crashed in Blackwood Forest, near Popham just after 3.40pm.

Paramedics, several fire crews and police were called to the crash site after a walker found the light aircraft wreckage near the airstrip.

The couple were pronounced dead at the scene but their son was found unconscious in the wreckage of the plane. He was flown by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital’s specialist neurological unit where he is still receiving treatment.

It is understood the family were flying back to their south Warwickshire home.

Aviation experts said the pilot – believed to be the boy’s father – attempted to carry out an emergency landing on a grass airstrip after bad weather caused flying conditions to deteriorate.

A nearby flying school based at Popham Airfield confirmed the incident. A statement posted on AirBourne Aviation’s Facebook page said: “Thoughts with those connected with aircraft crash at Popham.

“Not the sort of thing we like to see or hear about. We witnessed Hampshire Air Ambulance landing across the road from the office and we hope for the best.”

The couple had been married just over a year and Lewis celebrated his 50th birthday on New Year’s Day.

A post mortem is set to be carried out tomorrow (Tuesday) in a bid to establish the exact cause of death.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch will also be conducting a full-scale investigation into the incident and a spokesman confirmed its report would be published soon.

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