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1st Jul, 2022

Tributes paid to balloon crash victim

Laura Kearns 11th Nov, 2016

TRIBUTES have been paid to an ‘amazing super-mum’ who lost her life in an air balloon crash in South Africa.

Suzanne Astle was visiting friends in the country when the tragedy happened.

She and her family were on a balloon safari which crash-landed in high winds while trying to land. It ended up on isolated farmland near the town of Mooinooi.

Mum-of-two Suzanne was thrown from the basket and suffered severe injuries. Rescue teams took around an hour and a half to reach the crash site after the balloon’s GPS smashed.

During that time the 49 year-old was comforted by her husband and two sons.

Mrs Astle died later that day in hospital.

She is survived by husband John, a Stoneleigh councillor, and her two boys.

Her family have spoken out to pay tribute to their beloved relative, who worked as a physiotherapist at Brooke School in Rugby, helping children with special needs.

Mrs Astle’s niece Katie Paul told the Observer: “Suzie was the most amazing mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend to all and I am lucky to be able to call her my aunt. She will be missed every day by so many – but we all feel lucky to have had such a special person in our lives.

“Being the gorgeous person she was, my uncle has received a huge amount of support throughout this difficult time.

“When Suzie wasn’t being super-mum to her boys she would help out at their schools on a voluntary basis. She also worked part time at Brooke School in Rugby, making a difference to even more people.”

Born in Liverpool, growing up in Maidenhead, Mrs Astle moved to Stoneleigh Abbey when she married John in 2000.

The pair met while working for British Airways – her as an air stewardess and he as a pilot. Due to her job, Mrs Astle spent years travelling the world – always with a jar of Marmite in her suitcase incase she did not like the local food.

Ms Paul said: “This is an incredibly hard time for the family, most of all my Uncle John, and her two beautiful boys, but we all continue to find comfort in the fact that my Auntie Suzie loved life, loved laughter and loved having fun.”

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