Pedestrian killed in London helicopter tragedy named

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THE pedestrian killed in a helicopter crash in central London has been named as Matthew Wood, who was on his way to work when he was killed.

Mr Wood, 39, from Sutton, south London, was walking to his job as a manager at a pest control firm in Vauxhall when a helicopter hit a high-rise crane yards from Vauxhall Station at 8am on Wednesday.

His neighbour Yvonne Humphries, a playschool volunteer, said: “He was just a lovely, cuddly guy. He was so big and you could get hold of him, he was like a teddy bear.”

Pilot Pete Barnes, 50, from Berkshire, was also killed. Chris Barnes, 55, from Nottingham, paid tribute to his brother, a veteran pilot.

He said: “It’s a matter of instinct, it’s what pilots do. He had 25 years and 10,500 hours experience. He was very good at what he did.

“Our condolences go out to the family of the other man who was killed, that’s the last thing that my brother would have wanted to happen.”

Stunt pilot Mr Barnes, who piloted helicopters in films such as Die Another Day, was alone in the aircraft amid thick cloud when it clipped the crane.

Twelve people were injured in the tragedy, but police said the number of casualties could have been much higher.