Tributes paid to Bognor Regis teacher following Bury Hill crash

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Tributes have been paid to a talented and well-respected primary school teacher who died in a car crash at Bury Hill.

Damon Gravatt, 36, of Moat Lane, Pulborough, was driving his Toyota Rav 4 along the A29 when he was involved in a three-car accident on May 4.

His father Ian Gravatt said: “Damon was our loving caring son. A huge gentle giant of a man with many talents, he was a brilliant clarinetist, more than proficient on the saxophone, guitar and keyboards.

“It would be fair to say there were few instruments he could not master. He was a good amateur dramatist, having played the lead in the recent Basingstoke AOS production of The Mikado.

“He had a great flair for writing children’s stories about his beloved collie dogs and got great pleasure writing plays for children to act out.

“He loved his job as a primary school teacher and would tell me that his main goal in life was to be recognised as not a good classroom teacher but as a great classroom teacher.

“Judging from the many letters he received over the years, not to mention the tear jerking tributes we have received since his passing, they all bear witness to the fact that he achieved his goal.”

Mr Gravatt said the family had received a large number of cards including one from the headteacher of Southway Primary School, where his son taught.

It said: “Damon was a truly great teacher, well respected and liked by his colleagues and the children.”

Mr Gravatt said: “I know Damon would class that as the highest point of all his achievements and will sleep peacefully knowing his job had been well done.

“His passing leaves a vast chasm in our lives and we can only hope that memories of his achievements will help us through this very difficult time.”

Sussex Police said a 49-year-old man from Chichester remains in hospital with a leg injury.

Officers are still appealing for any witnesses to this collision or who may have seen any incidents involving the vehicles before it took place to come forward.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999.