Fiancée of airshow victim speaks about life six months after tragedy

'I can't put it into words how much I miss him,' are the touching words of a woman who lost her fiancé in the Shoreham Airshow disaster last year.

Giovanna Chirico said her children have been her rock. She holds a picture of her and Mark together  Photo: Eddie Mitchell
Giovanna Chirico said her children have been her rock. She holds a picture of her and Mark together Photo: Eddie Mitchell

Six months on Giovanna Chirico has remained strong for her children, but the 33-year-old admitted she still hopes Mark Trussler will walk through the back door one day, like nothing ever happened.

She said: “I never thought I would still feel empty and I’ve got this knot in my tummy.

“It’s like being surrounded by lots of people and then in a split second the whole arena is empty and you’re standing there on your own.”

The Worthing father-of-six, who worked as a window cleaner, had taken his motorbike for a spin to Shoreham on August 22 to see the last flight of the Vulcan.

Giovanna said: “I never expected Mark to go off on his bike and never come back.

“I found his phone was off and he never had his phone off.

“I spoke to him at 1.10pm. If I knew it was the last time I spoke to him I would have never let him out the door.”

The couple were engaged and would have been celebrating 13 years together on September 27.

In a special tribute to Mark, shortly after the incident, friends and family released scores of multi-coloured balloons in Tarring Park followed by a one minute silence.

“Friends of ours wanted to help in some way and I’ve never been so emotional in all of my life, whatsoever,” she said.

Now a single mother, Giovanna said her main priority was to help her children through this difficult time: “I’m trying to focus on my kids and give them a normal routine as much as I can, and do the shopping, and bills, and meetings, and there’s only one of me.”

In the face of hardships, Giovanna said she has fantastic friends and two sisters who have stuck by her.

“They are the people who will give me lifts to the cemetery and to do shopping,” she said.

But Giovanna added that her home will never feel the same without Mark, and to help her youngest children cope she tells them their father is now a window cleaner in the sky.

“I have made it all special and magical for them. When stars are twinkling that’s daddy kissing and when it’s raining I said daddy has spilt his bucket.”

Giovanna described Mark as a ‘hero’ when it came to being a father.

She said: “I could not have asked for a better man to be my kids’ dad. Anything the kids wanted, he got it. If they wanted a story he’d give them a magical read. He’d do anything for his kids.”

Last month, Shoreham Airshow Ltd announced this year’s event will be cancelled out of respect for the 11 men killed in the disaster.

But Giovanna would like to see the airshow moved to a safer location in the future.

She said: “I personally think out of respect for the men and their families that this airshow should be cancelled forever until it’s been discussed and they can do it over water or where it’s not near a main road.”

As the inquests into the deaths of the 11 victims are approaching, Giovanna said if there is a press circus on the day, she will walk in and hold her head high.

Despite being busy around the clock, Giovanna said it has kept her mind occupied and through it all her children have been her rock.

“In all honesty doing all those things and being on my feet so much has helped and the kids have been a big part in getting me through this,” she said.

Investigations into the airshow crash continue.

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