Helicopter crash: Tributes paid to Matthew Wood

13:06 17 January 2013

Tributes have been paid to a man who died yesterday on his way to work when a helicopter crashed in Vauxhall.

Neighbours described their shock at the death of Matthew Wood, who they said was a “lovely, cuddly teddy bear”.

The 39-year-old died as he was walking to his job as a manager at a pest control firm in Vauxhall, when the helicopter hit a crane before falling to the ground.

Speaking today, neighbours at his flat in a semi-detached house in Sutton said he was a friendly man who lived alone with his two cats.

Playschool volunteer Yvonne Humphries, who lives in the house next door, broke down in tears as she heard the sad news.

The 63-year-old grandmother said: “He lived on his own but he was always having friends round - he had lived here for about 12 years.

“I just can’t believe it - I was listening to the news this morning and they said someone from Sutton died, I can’t believe it’s him.

“He was just a lovely, cuddly guy.

“He was so big and you could get hold of him, he was like a teddy bear.”

Mrs Humphries said her neighbour used to live with a partner but she had moved back to Australia more than a decade ago.

Thanaporn Ploypaisansang, 38, a restaurant manager who lives in a flat on the same floor as Mr Wood, said he was a “really nice and friendly guy”.

“I’m in shock and just can’t believe it’s him. He was very, very unlucky. He was only my neighbour, we didn’t talk much, but I feel really sad inside.”

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