The family of a Brinkley man tragically killed in an horrific crash last week have paid tribute to his courage, determination and desire to “make a difference”.
Chris Clements, 40, was travelling in a wheelchair close to the road at about 2.25pm last Wednesday (January 5) when he was involved in a collision with a silver Peugeot Partner on the B1052 near Brinkley.
He was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but sadly died the following morning as a result of his injuries, surrounded by his family and close friends.
In a statement today, his family said: “Our wonderful Chris, a cherished son, father of three sons, brother, uncle and true friend to so many was a truly amazing person, so very much loved by us all and whose courage, determination and his desire to make a difference was an inspiration to all who knew him.
“Chris will be fondly remembered by all who were lucky enough to have been a part of his life.
“As a child, and continuing into his adult years Chris was a vibrant, cheeky, mischievous and larger-than-life character.
“He made the most of the opportunities he had and strived to be the best he could be at all he pursued; fatherhood, mechanics, engineering, mountain biking, black belt in karate and motor bike riding to name but a few.
“Chris had a wicked personality and sense of humour which shone through.
“Any memory people have of Chris will almost certainly have fun and laughter at the core.”
In 2006 Chris, of Beech Croft, sustained a spinal cord injury which left him tetraplegic and a permanent wheelchair user.
His family said: “Chris chose to rebuild his life by doing things differently, never giving up, viewing everything as a challenge that he would overcome however long it took or however hard it was going to be.
“Chris was a believer that no matter what life presented, you dealt with it and that is exactly what he did.
“Chris was a well-known, popular and familiar figure in the vicinity of the village of Brinkley where he lived, often to be seen in his wheelchair exercising his dog Elsa, which he was doing at the time of the accident. Chris was a pillar of strength for us all and his tenacity in the face of adversity was truly commendable.”
His family thanked the East Anglian Air Ambulance, paramedics and police who attended Chris at the scene and the nurses, doctors and consultants of Addenbrooke’s Hospital Accident & Emergency department and the Neurosciences Critical Care Unit (NCCU), who provided “excellent and compassionate end of life care”.