Family pay tribute to man killed by train

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THE family of a passionate music fan who died after being hit by a train have spoken of their loss.

Dan Hammond, 25, was hit by the 9.27pm train from Bognor to Portsmouth on Monday, September 10, at the Whyke Road level crossing.

His mother Michelle, sisters Chantelle, aged 21, and 17-year-old Chanice, and girlfriend Bernice, 25, paid tribute to him, saying he was loved by those who knew him.

For the last few years, Dan had worked at Chichester Cathedral Cloister’s Cafe, along with Chantelle.

She said: ‘He was a real hard worker, everybody at work loved him to pieces.’

Dan also had a 14-year-old sister, Karla, and two nephews: one-year-old Dylan and four-month-old George. He used to take them to his room to show them the flashing lights from his DJ set, which he had used at friends’ birthdays and a few weddings.

Michelle said: ‘He had it in his mind they were going to be DJs, whether they liked it or not. That was his passion: music.’

Dan had known girlfriend Bernice for 10 years, since they were teenagers.

She said: ‘We were both 14 when we met. I wasn’t allowed to stay out late and I used to say I was staying at a friend’s house so I could go and see him.’

They had later separated and Bernice had gone to Australia for a year. Nevertheless, while they were apart, they continued to talk.

‘We knew we would be together and got back together as soon as I got back,’ she said, adding the pair planned on starting a family together.

His sister Chantelle was on the phone with him when he died: ‘I had a conversation with him but it happened. That’s how we found out it had happened – because I heard it.’

The family said that Dan had ups and downs in the past, but his mum Michelle said: ‘It was a normal day - he had been to work. There was no indication. Things were going right for him. He was looking to his future finally.’

Flowers have been placed at the Whyke Lane crossing, but Michelle can’t bring herself to visit them.

Dan’s funeral will be held at 4pm on Tuesday, at Chichester Cathedral.