The family of a Lancing dad who was tragically killed in a head-on collision on his birthday have paid tribute to him.
Ross Kirk, a dad-of-two, of Tower Road, Lancing, was travelling southbound on his motorbike on the B2123 Falmer Road at Rottingdean on December 6, last year, when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle which was on the wrong side of the road.
He was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, where he later tragically died from his injuries. It was his 29th birthday.
The driver of the vehicle, a Newhaven man, has been jailed today for causing death by dangerous driving.
After the sentencing at Hove Crown Court, Mr Kirk's family issued the following statement:
"Ross was a big man – standing at 6’8” and 22 stone – and was known by everyone as the Hulk. But behind that he was a big softie really.
"He had a very calming presence about him and was very approachable. He was just so easy to talk to.
"He was the heart of the family, he was the rock that kept us all together. We have always been close as a family, but he was always the one who everyone would turn to.
"He was a father of two children, but he was also a father figure to all of his nieces and nephews. He would go out of his way to see his kids whenever he could.
"Ross had a partner who he was planning to marry and foster children with, and his father-in-law said Ross was everything a man could ask for his daughter.
"He worked as a window fitter with his dad at Lancing Glass Works, and he spent most of his childhood on the downs and on the beach. He just loved the outdoors.
"Ross also served in the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. He was in the army for six years, and his sergeant said he was the perfect leader and the ideal man to have by your side. Being in the army really shaped him as a person.
"Ross leaves behind a large family including mum, dad, partner, sister, two brothers, and 16 nieces and nephews, all of whom miss him very dearly."