'˜He was the life and soul': Bike marathon to buy Christmas presents for family of father killed in A27 collision
Colleagues of a man tragically killed in an accident on the A27 last month are raising money to buy Christmas presents for his daughters.
Michael Craig, 34, from Worthing, worked as a chef at the Pizza Express in Arundel but was knocked off his moped by a van on October 24.
He left behind two daughters, aged two and four, and his fiancé.
Members of the restaurant team, led by head chef Chris Dale, have organised a marathon bike ride to raise money for the family over the festive period.
“We wanted to try to alleviate the pressure of Christmas for his daughters,” said 31-year-old Chris, who will be kicking off the 31-hour trek on December 1.
“When it happened it was awful, everybody was upset. We closed the restaurant on the Thursday and Friday after we found out, and members of staff from other local branches covered shifts while people took time off.”
Despite living in Worthing Michael came from Sunderland and was a keen Sunderland Football Club supporter.
The Pizza Express team have installed a static bike in the restaurant and will be cycling the distance from the Arundel restaurant to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light – about 365 miles.
Around 13 members of staff are involved, plus Michael’s mother, and will be pedalling in shifts to complete the marathon.
Chris said it was the least they could do considering the impact Michael had on the restaurant.
“He was a bit of a character,” he said.
“He was the life and soul of the restaurant. Didn’t matter if it was a quiet shift or a busy shift, he was always laughing and joking.
“He made work easier – he never came in unhappy and he was never mad.”
The group have set a target of £1,000, which they are well on their way to reaching.
Half of the proceeds will go towards surprising Michael’s daughters with presents on Christmas Day. The other will be donated to bike safety charity Brake.
Following the tragic collision on October 24, police said a Lancing man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
Donations can be made via www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/formickwithlove