Well-wishers bring 'comfort' to mother of charity ride cyclist

Christian Smith Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Christian Smith started his 24-hour "Kent Epic" fundraising ride the day before his death

The mother of a man killed while on a charity bike ride has spoken of the comfort the family has derived from thousands of well-wishers.

The Rev Jacky Davis, priest at St Mary's Church in Upchurch, Kent said the whole family was devastated by the loss of Christian Smith.

Mr Smith, 38, was raising money for mental health charity Mind when he died in a car crash on 22 March.

Two teenagers were later arrested and bailed until July.

Writing in the May parish magazine, Ms Davis said her youngest son, who died at the scene of the crash on the Old Thanet Way, near Chestfield, suffered a "cruel" death.

Since then 5,745 donations and messages have poured in to his JustGiving page, raising a total of £81,636.94. His target was £1,000.

"We wish to thank you all so much for the messages, cards, visits and flowers that have brought comfort to us all," said his mother.

"And to all those who have contributed to Christian's web page, what can we say?

"Thank you so much, you have made Christian's children so extra proud of their dad and helped us to believe in human nature again.

"It was a cruel death but I want you all to know that my faith has not diminished in the slightest."

Mr Smith's wife Katie has pledged she will finish the last 20 miles of the 248-mile, 24-hour Kent Epic ride in her husband's place.

Ms Davis said she would return to work in July.

An 18-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and causing death by dangerous driving.

A 19-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of drink driving and causing death by dangerous driving.

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