Tragedy as motorcycling Portsmouth couple are killed in crash on French motorway

Tony Jerome, 51, and his partner 59-year-old Djenane Vermeulen, known as Jane, died on the French A20 motorway.
Tony Jerome, 51, and his partner 59-year-old Djenane Vermeulen, known as Jane, died on the French A20 motorway.
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TRIBUTES have flooded in after a motorcycling couple were killed abroad in a motorway crash.

Tony Jerome, 51, and his partner 60-year-old Djenane Vermeulen, known as Jane, died on the French A20 motorway in the Cieurac area of Occitanie on Sunday at around 3.30pm. 

French media have reported that a car driven by a man in his 50s crashed into the couple's motorcycle as they approached the Cahors-Sud toll booths.

Mr Jerome, who is understood to have had his partner as a pillion passenger at the time of the crash, worked as a lorry driver for L&S Waste.

In a statement the company said: 'Tony and Jane you will be sadly missed everyday by all of us.'

Friend and former colleague Kelvin Ashworth, 50, worked with Mr Jerome between 2017 and this year.

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He described Mr Jerome as a ‘generous man who would give anyone the time of day’.

Mr Ashworth said: ‘It was such a shock when I found out. 

'Tony was a keen motorcyclist but you don’t expect someone to go on holiday and not come back. I feel so sorry for the family.

'He always had a smile on his face and a joke to tell – good or bad – but was always very professional. 

'I learnt so much from him at L&S. He was a downright lovely man who really would give you his last Rolo.’

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Paying tribute to the couple, the company said in a statement: ‘It’s with deepest regret that we report the sudden passing of one of our long standing employees, Tony Jerome, and his partner Djenane. Tony was part of the L&S family, part of the woodwork, he was known to many and loved by all. 

'Our most sincere condolences go out to both families and everyone affected by this sudden loss.’

Following the company’s post online, tributes have been flooding in.

Colleague Karl Knight posted on Facebook and said: ‘One of the most genuine nicest blokes you’ll ever come across in your life. Such sad sad news,condolences to all the family. Still can’t believe it, this place won’t be the same without him.’

Andy Bird added: ‘Such sad sad news, Tony was one of the nicest guys I could of known. Bless him and Djenane you both will be sadly missed but never forgotten RIP.’

Mr Jerome's partner moved to Portsmouth from Venezuela and attended Portsmouth College before working for P&O Ferries.

Principal Simon Barrable said: 'We are very sad to hear about the tragic loss of one of our ex-students. We send our thoughts to her family and friends at this very difficult time.'

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: 'Our staff are supporting the family and friends of a British man following his death in France, and are in contact with the local Gendarmerie.'