Tributes paid to ‘smashing chap’ who died in cycling collision

13:36 21 November 2012

The A13, close to the scene of the tragedy

The A13, close to the scene of the tragedy

Archant

Tributes have been pouring in for a “decent chap and father” killed on Monday while out cycling in Barking.

Brian Florey, 35, died at the scene of the tragedy on Ripple Road (the A13 westbound), close to the Ship and Shovel pub, after a collision with a lorry at around 10.20am. He leaves partner Julie and daughters Holli and Lauren.

Mr Florey worked as a mobile repair mechanic for company Babcock and would be called out to fix faults with fire engines at stations across east London.

Narinda Dail, watch manager at Wennington Fire Station in Rainham, worked with Mr Florey for over ten years.

She said: “He was just such a nice guy. His death has come as a shock to all of us.

“We can’t believe he was killed in such a tragic way. He couldn’t do enough for you.”

Steve McDermott, from Plaistow fire station, added: “Everyone knew him and loved him. He was a blinding fella. Even though he wasn’t a fireman he should have been.

“He was a decent chap. It is a very sad loss for his family, but the firemen have been touched by it too.”

He went on to say that Mr Florey had wanted to join the fire service but couldn’t on medical grounds and that often he would join firefighters at the dinner table if he had been called out late to perform repairs.

“Everyone had a lot of respect for him. It was a pleasure to have him on the station when he was here,” added Mr McDermott. “I didn’t think of him as a stranger. He was a smashing chap.”

Yesterday relatives of the mechanic hugged at the scene of the collision, where flowers and cards had been placed.

One tribute from his daughters simply read: “Daddy help us, Lauren and Holli.”

Another, which appeared to be from his partner, Julie, went on: “You are my heart. I love you so much. Why did it happen to you? My perfect man.”

A 57-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed pending further enquiries.

The tragedy came as London Assembly members released a report urging for more cash for cycling safety initiatives after figures showed injuries have risen dramatically in recent years.

The mayor’s office said since Mr Johnson came into power in 2008 around £200million has been spent on cycling initiatives.

Details of “a major new investment in cycling” will be released later in the year, they went on.

A spokesman added: “Londoners can be assured that over three quarters of the recommendations being made by the assembly are either already happening or we are planning for them to happen.”

Anybody with information on the Barking collision is urged to call police on 020 8597 4874 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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