Tribute to ‘best dad in the world’ who died in collision on A27 in Polegate

Steven Copping
Steven Copping

A man who died in a collision involving four vehicles on the A27 near Polegate last week has been identified, police have said.

He was Steven Copping, 49, from Hildenborough, Kent.

He was funny, friendly and selfless with a massive heart. He was loved by everyone who crossed his path.

The collision happened at about 11.45am on Thursday (March 5) between Polegate and Lewes near the junction with Folkington Lane.

A white and blue 41-tonne Renault articulated lorry travelling west overturned, and was in collision with a black Volvo V60 being driven by Mr Copping which was travelling east beneath it.

Police said he died at the scene.

A red and white Iveco lorry travelling east ahead of the Volvo took evasive action but its load of scaffolding was in collision with a Volkswagen Transporter people carrier travelling west behind the articulated lorry.

Mr Copping’s family paid tribute to ‘the best dad in the world.’

They said: “Steve was the best dad in the world and a devoted loving husband. He was funny, friendly and selfless with a massive heart. He was loved by everyone who crossed his path.

“He will be sadly missed by those he loved and those who loved him. We feel blessed to have had him in our lives for as long as we did. He will never be forgotten. He was our everything.”

The driver of the articulated lorry, a 53-year-old man from Wiltshire, suffered slight injuries. He was treated at Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton but not detained.

The driver of the scaffolding lorry, a 45-year-old Eastbourne man, and the driver of the VW Transporter, a 46-year-old woman from Wadhurst, were unhurt. Two passengers in the VW, a 39-year-old woman from Norway and a 27-year-old man from the USA, were also unhurt.

The incident led to the A27 being closed between Polegate and the Drusillas roundabout at Alfriston until shortly before midnight.

A 53-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He was since been released on bail until May 27, police said.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision.

Sergeant Dan Pitcher, said: “We still need to hear from witnesses, particularly the driver of the white Ford transit connect van that would have seen the collision but turned around before police arrived at the scene.”

Anyone with information should email collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting Operation Bourton.