‘He lit up a room’: Tributes to young man from Eastbourne who died in tragic collision

Ryan Thorpe-Putland SUS-190207-162028001
Ryan Thorpe-Putland SUS-190207-162028001

Tributes have been paid to a “popular and much-loved” 22-year-old from Eastbourne who died in a collision on the Polegate Bypass.

Ryan Thorpe-Putland, of Firle Road, was killed after his BMW left the road and collided with a road sign on November 18, 2018, an inquest into his death heard this week.

Ryan's brother Sam and father Jeremy are taking part in a charity banger rally in his memory. SUS-190407-101200001

Ryan's brother Sam and father Jeremy are taking part in a charity banger rally in his memory. SUS-190407-101200001

His mother Tracy Putland said Ryan “lit up a room when he walked in”, had many, many friends and was a joy to be around.

She said, “He had a great sense of fun, a wicked sense of humour, just a lovely kind person. He is deeply missed always.”

His father Jeremy Thorpe said, “Ryan was a popular and a much-loved local lad, he just finished his engineering apprenticeship at Interface Engineering Hastings.

“He was 3rd dan Karate Jutsu black belt and instructor at Canton Martial Arts and well known within local car groups. He is loved and missed by all friends and family. His sudden passing had a devastating effect and was widespread.”

The inquest in Hastings heard a statement from Ryan’s girlfriend, Toyah Wood, who described him as, “Always such a happy, outgoing guy, great fun to be with.

She said, “I have never been frightened or worried in a car with him, he always drove carefully.”

The couple had spent a “lovely” weekend together before she left on the Sunday (November 18) to return to her home in Kent.

Ryan, a car enthusiast, had bought his new convertible BMW Z3 just three weeks before the accident.

Emergency services were called to the scene on the bend 300 metres after the Golden Jubilee Roundabout.

Forensic collision investigator Julian Taylor said at the inquest, “It’s likely control was lost due to harsh left hand steering and lifting off the accelerator. The reason for this could be any number of scenarios.”

These included an animal running in front of the car or being too close to the offside road edge while negotiating the bend and trying to correct himself.

Mr Taylor found no faults with the vehicle, which had been travelling at a high speed, in excess of the 70mph speed limit, when it collided with the sign.

Before his death, Ryan had been organising a charity banger rally across Europe in an old VW Beetle.

Now his father and brother are planning to complete the events in his memory and raise money for charities RoadPeace and Brake. On August 15 is a rally to Monte Carlo and the Bust Rallies to Pompeii on September 28. To donate visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ourgoatryan