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21 July 2010, 00:00
The friends and family of a Maidstone man who was killed in a motorbike crash have done a skydive to raise money in his memory.
Dean Smith, 38, was killed when he came off his bike on a country lane in May last year.
It took the air ambulance only 12 minutes to get to him, but he died at the scene.
Following his death £3,020 was raised in donations at his funeral and a further £3,350 was raised from a sponsored skydive by his partner Anita Wheeler and friends Georgia Patterson, Michelle Madine and Tom Canon.
Anita said: “I was the first out because I would not have gone after watching the others. I swore as I exited the plane and I said, ‘Dean, I’m doing this for you’.
“It was fabulous to do it knowing that we were doing it for such a worthwhile cause because anyone of us might need it.
“If it was not for Dean’s accident I probably would not have done the skydive but the Air Ambulance means a lot to me so it’s something I will carry on fundraising for.”
“But I couldn’t do another skydive even if it was for the Air Ambulance, it was just too scary.”
It costs £1.7m-a-year to keep the Kent Air Ambulance airborne and each flying mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000 so the sum raised in Dean’s memory could potentially save four lives.