Tributes paid to family killed in plane crash

The victims: Phil Garvey, 56, his wife Ann, 55, their daughter Emily, 23, and their 20-year-old son

The victims: Phil Garvey, 56, his wife Ann, 55, their daughter Emily, 23, and their 20-year-old son Daniel. Photos courtesy of Avon and Somerset Constabulary. - Credit: Archant

Pilot Phil Garvey, 56, his wife Ann, 55, their daughter Emily, 23, and their 20-year-old son Daniel died when their Dunkeswell-bound plane crashed near Churchinford, Somerset.

The family of four people who died when a Dunkeswell-bound plane crashed near the Somerset village of Churchinford at the weekend have said they are ‘utterly heartbroken’.

The victims, who were from the Woking area of Surrey, have been confirmed as pilot Phil Garvey, 56, his wife Ann, 55, their daughter Emily, 23, and their 20-year-old son Daniel.

They were killed when their six-seater plane came down near the village in the Blackdown Hills on Saturday (November 14).

In a tribute, the family said: “Phil, Ann, Emily and Daniel Garvey were tragically killed in a plane crash on Saturday, November 14.


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“They were the best family anybody could have wished for and they brought happiness to everyone they met.

“We are all utterly heartbroken. Thank you to everyone for your love, thoughts and support.”

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The family has kindly asked to be given space to grieve at this difficult time.

Emily and Daniel have been described as ‘extremely well liked and respected by their peers’ at St John the Baptist School (SJB) in Woking, where they were students between 2004 and 2013.

A statement released by the school read: “The SJB community is in shock as it tries to come to terms with the tragic loss of two beautiful young people, Emily and Daniel Garvey.

“The family was highly regarded within the SJB community, Emily and Daniel were two of the nicest and kindest young people you could ever wish to meet and were extremely well liked and respected by their peers.

“Philip and Ann Garvey supported the school in every way, not only in the interest of their own children but also devoting their time supporting the school as a whole even after their children had left.

“Philip was involved both in supporting our Year 13 students with interview preparation and offering current Year 11 and 12 students work experience at his company - they will be sorely missed.

“Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy are with their remaining family members.”

Mr Garvey was heavily involved in the community and played guitar at school productions and church, while he was also a governor at St Dunstan’s Catholic Primary School in Woking.

Francis Harrington, the parish priest at St Dunstan’s Church, said: “It’s a tragedy. A huge tragedy. The whole area and the whole parish is devastated.

“Nobody can get their heads around it. They were a lovely family and were highly respected. What can we say? Why do these things happen? I don’t know. We will have to wait for the official report.

“Philip was very involved with the music at mass, where he played the guitar. I have known him for around 20 years and I have seen the family grow up. They were a lovely family. Sociable, pleasant, very nice. They will be sorely missed.”

Julianne Birch, headteacher at St Dunstan’s Catholic Primary School, said: “Mr Garvey was one of our foundation governors until 2014 and Emily and Dan both came to St Dunstan’s School before going to St John the Baptist school.

“We are just absolutely stunned, shocked and deeply saddened.”

In a letter to parents, she wrote: “Phil Garvey was one of our foundation governors. He was a tremendous help and support to our school team during the school’s expansion.

“He used to play the electric guitar at school productions and it is absolutely tragic news. Our thoughts and prayers are with the remaining family members.”

Police yesterday said the crashed plane had been recovered from the field for further investigation.

A force spokesman added: “We’re continuing to work with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).”

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