Heartbroken family pay tribute to Halwill Junction crash victim Mark King
Family tributes have been paid to a young father-of-four killed in a crash.
Mark King, 26, died when his car collided with a bridge near Halwill Junction.
He was driving home to his parents’ house in Halwill when his red Volkswagen Golf struck a bridge parapet on the A3079.
He sustained fatal injuries in the November 28 crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.
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His parents John and Val King, both 54 and from Halwill, this week paid tribute to their son who they described as a “very moral young man”.
In a statement they said: “Mark has left a hole in the lives of all who knew him that can never be filled.
“Mark never wanted to be the centre of attention but with his dry wit, great sense of humour and open personality people could not help but like and enjoy his company.
“Mark was always honest and never afraid to put forward his own point of view and his huge personality will be greatly missed.
“He was family-orientated and proud of his family and leaves behind a great legacy in his four beautiful children.”
Mark, who worked as a window technician for Autoglass, leaves behind Tyler, 8, Charlie, 5, Callum, 4 and Hanna, 2.
His former partner and mother of his youngest two children, Laura Clark, said: “Hanna, Callum and I love you so much Mark.
“Thank you for all the special times that we had together, you are so special to us and we will love and miss you forever.”
Mark, a keen carp fisher, grew up in Kent before moving back in with his parents in Halwill around four months ago.
He enjoyed fishing trips with his dad and brother Alex, 33, from the age of four and often fished locally at Springfield Meadow and Anglers Eldorado.
John said: “Mark loved his carp fishing. He used to drag me out.
“When we lived in Kent we used to go sea fishing but as he got older we would go off all over the place.”
His sister, Joanna, who lives in Kent with her husband and children, said the news of her brother’s death had broken her heart.
The 30-year-old said: “Mark and I shared a caring brother and sister relationship. We both had similar personalities and sense of humour and this meant we got on well and understood each other.
“The similarities between us also meant that we didn’t always see eye to eye and like most brothers and sisters we had our fair share of conflicts. Despite this we always knew that we loved each other and we would be there for each other no matter what.
“Losing Mark has broken my heart.
“I cannot believe my baby brother is gone and I am devastated that the last memory of the two of us together has already been made.
“He made me proud in so many ways and he will always be alive in my heart.”
Mark’s parents said the response from the village had been heart-warming.
They said: “The support we’ve been getting from people in the village, from people we don’t even know very well, has been overwhelming.
“They’ve been down to give us their condolences and give us cards and some have brought cooked meals. People have been so nice.”
Pat Sanford, a family friend who has known Mark since he was a toddler, described him as an “unfailingly polite young man” who was “always there with a smile”.
Across the Channel, users of a family-run carp lake in France has paid tribute to Mark by naming a fish in his honour.
Fishermen at Rushes Lake in Viré-En-Champagne, which Mark has never visited, named a recently-caught carp The King in honour of him.
Val, who saw him just hours before his death, believes he may have popped out to put fuel in his car.
Mark’s funeral will be held at St Peters Chapel Exeter & Devon Crematorium in Exeter on Wednesday, December 12, at 2pm. All friends and family are welcome.
Instead of flowers, Mark’s family have asked that anyone who wishes to make a donation does so to Devon Air Ambulance, by sending a cheque to Devon Air Ambulance Trust, Barry Pyke, The Co-operative Funeralcare, 9 East Street, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 1AS or by calling 071837 52847.