Boy 'Recovering' After Parents Killed In Hampshire Plane Crash
5 January 2015, 16:31
A six-year-old boy who survived a plane crash in Hampshire which killed his parents is conscious and making a recovery, according to his school.
George Tonkinson is being treated at Southampton General Hospital for the injuries he suffered when the light aircraft he was travelling in came down in woodland near Popham Airfield near Basingstoke on Saturday afternoon..
Lewis Tonkinson, 50, and Sally Tonkinson, 44, from Alcester, Warwickshire, were travelling from the Isle of Wight along with their son and were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Jim Turner, headteacher at the independent King's Hawford Junior school in Worcester, where George is a year 2 pupil, said that he is a ``lovely boy'' who will ``need the support of those close to him'' following the tragic accident which has left him an orphan.
He said: ``We are deeply saddened to hear of the accident which resulted in George Tonkinson suffering serious injuries and the deaths of his parents, Lewis and Sally Tonkinson.
``George is a lovely boy. He will need the support of those close to him at this difficult time. Our thought and prayers are with them all. We heard today that George is conscious and making a recovery from this horrific incident.
``We will be talking to the children on their return to school tomorrow and holding a special assembly in which we will all be praying for George and his family.''
Mr Tonkinson was a director and co-founder of Pinnacle Marketing Communications.
His co-director Simon Flatt said: ``It is with great sadness that we announce that Lewis Tonkinson, director and co-founder of Pinnacle Marketing Communications, died on 3rd January 2015.
``Lewis and Sally were a hugely popular couple and their tragic and untimely loss will leave a big gap in the lives of the great many people that knew and loved them.
``Our thoughts are with their families and, in particular, for George's speedy recovery.''
According to his biography on the company's website, Mr Tonkinson had a BSc (Hons) in electronic engineering and he founded Pinnacle along with Mr Flatt in 1996.
The family's large gated home, which includes 30 acres of woodland near a river by the rural village of Cookhill, Worcestershire, was quiet on Monday.
Three cars were parked on the drive, including a Mercedes 4x4, which neighbours said Mrs Tonkinson often drove.
On the front lawn, visible from the road, lay two footballs, a set of junior goal nets and a child's wheelbarrow. Many of the blinds were drawn and Christmas lights were off.
A female neighbour, who declined to be named, described the Tonkinsons as ``a lovely couple'' and their son as ``a nice little boy''. On hearing the news of the deaths, she said it was an ``unbelievable tragedy''.
The neighbour said she often spoke to Mrs Tonkinson, who would be out walking her black labrador, adding that she also had an older daughter who did not live at the house.
She said she had known Mrs Tonkinson for several years as they got their hair and nails done at the same place, and said the couple had been going to the United States just before Christmas.
``She was going to America, she'd never been there before. She was very much in love,'' she said.
``She used to live in Solihull before moving here.
``She was a pretty girl, very vivacious, and had her hair and nails done regularly - she was very glamorous.
``She was just pleasant, happy, pretty, slim, tall, blonde hair, nice figure, lovely girl. Her little boy was pretty as well.''
The neighbour added that the couple spent ``a fortune'' making the property and grounds ``drop-dead gorgeous'' since moving in a few years ago.
``She had everything to live for, this girl,'' she said.
The neighbour's husband said Mr Tonkinson could sometimes be spotted in the skies around their country home in a bright orange flying machine, which he described as similar to a powered paraglider.