THE family of a 25-year-old man who died in a car crash in Witney on Saturday has said he had ‘the biggest heart’.

Matt Hammonds, a base maintenance engineer at AirTanker in Carterton, tragically passed away at the scene of the incident on Saturday evening.

Mr Hammonds, a former Burford School pupil, was born in Doncaster but moved to Carterton when he was a young child, as his father was in the RAF.

His sister Lauren spoke to the Witney Gazette and described a man who loved his family with a passion and was a devoted father.

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She said: “Matt was the cheekiest chap, he had the most infectious smile and personality.

“Ask any of his friends, he was the life of the party and had the biggest heart.

“He had two children, Elissa, 5, and George, 3, with his partner and was also daddy to his partner’s eldest daughter Ella Mae, 9. He was also the best uncle to my baby boy Tommy.

“Matt was car obsessed, he had been for as long as I can remember. He started stock car racing a few years ago and raced at the arena in Standlake.

Oxford Mail:

“There will never be enough words to describe Matt, he had that magic ability to make you feel safe no matter what and was indestructible.

“He loved his family fiercely and I just hope he knows how much we love him too.”

Mr Hammonds, who lived in Carterton, died following a crash in Thorney Leys on Saturday night at about 9.40pm.

Thames Valley Police said a white Ford Transit Connect van left the carriageway and crashed into some trees and bushes near the B&Q store.

Paramedics attended the incident but sadly Mr Hammonds was pronounced dead at the scene.

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A second man received treatment at hospital and was kept in for observation, but his injuries were not believed to be serious.

Police confirmed that Mr Hammonds’ family were informed of his passing and are being supported by specially trained officers.

Senior investigating officer, Sergeant Mark Scully of the joint operations road policing unit, based at Bicester, said: “This collision has sadly led to the death of a man in his twenties. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

“We are investigating the circumstances of this collision and we are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Oxford Mail:

“We are keen to speak with anyone who may have seen the collision or that might have seen the white van prior to the collision.

“Additionally we are asking any motorists who were travelling along Thorney Leys at around the time of the incident to please check their dash-cam footage and get in touch if it shows the incident or the white van prior to the incident.”

Thames Valley Police said a 23-year-old man of no fixed abode was arrested at the weekend on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

If you have any information that can assist police with its investigation, please call 101 or report online, quoting reference number 43200210732.

If you wish to report anonymously, do so by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.