Family tribute to Sutton's Matthew Wood killed in Nine Elms/ Vauxhall helicopter crash
The pedestrian who was killed in yesterday’s helicopter crash in Nine Elms has been described as a "big guy with a big heart".
Matthew Wood, 39, from Brunswick Road, Sutton, was killed in the crash as he walked to his office in Wandsworth Road.
Mr Wood’s brother Darren, 35, texted him just before 8am to reassure him about his 11 month old nephew who was in hospital.
However, when his family tried to contact Mr Wood again his phone was off.
Mr Wood’s family are gathering together in this difficult time and his sister, Amanda Wood, 31, from Carshalton, said: "We heard it on the news and you don’t expect it to be someone from here.
"All day I was trying to contact him when I heard – but his phone was off. His phone is never off.
"He was texting my brother in the morning asking how he was. His last conversation would have been about his family who he loved.
"[The police] phoned at about 8.30 last night and said to prepare for the worst."
Miss Wood, who works in Asda in Sutton, described her brother, a manager at Rentokil, as a popular man who was well known in Sutton.
She added: "He was a big friendly giant. He was a big guy with a big heart.
"His godson was his world. Matthew’s got no children but he’s got lots of godchildren.
"When we were younger we used to clash like any brother or sister but losing our dad last year – it draws you together.
"It would have been the one-year anniversary of our dad’s death on the 21st of January.We were just talking the other day about what we should do.
"It would have been Matthew’s nephew and godson’s birthday on the first of February – he’s going to be one.
"I was looking forward to him taking me down the aisle when I eventually get married."
Mr Wood was planning to celebrate his 40th birthday with a party in April. His friends and family have decided to hold the event as a tribute to him.
Alan Brown, CEO of Rentokil Initial said: "Matt was well known to all of us who visit the Vauxhall office, including myself. He was in every respect a warm and generous man and a cornerstone of our team in Vauxhall.
"We extend our deepest sympathy to Matt's family and to our colleagues in Vauxhall who, though safely evacuated, will be deeply affected by this tragic accident."
Mr Wood, a former Carshalton Boys School pupil, lived with his two cats which his sister described as his surrogate babies.
He was dedicated to his nephew and liked to travel and go drinking with his friends.
He was into heavy metal music, going to gigs and used to work in the old Hotrocks music store in Sutton.
A post mortem gave the cause of death as severe burns and leg injury. An inquest will open in due course.
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