THE EMPLOYER of a man killed when a tree crushed a van in Alton during Storm Eunice on Friday has launched a fundraising page in his memory.

Jack Bristow, a 23 year old dad-of-one, died when a 40ft tree crashed down on his work van in Old Odiham Road as 80mph winds lashed the area at around 11.45am on February 18.

Mr Bristow was a passenger in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter pick-up, owned by his employer Hooke Highways, and died at the scene opposite the junction with South View Rise.

The driver, Callum Smith, was taken to Southampton General Hospital with serious injuries, where he remains in a stable condition.

The Herald understands both men were travelling home to Oxfordshire after finishing work, not after clearing trees as has been reported elsewhere.

Hooke Highways confirmed Mr Bristow worked out of the company’s Oxford depot and the company has since launched a Go Fund Me fundraising page in his memory.

A spokesman for the company told the Herald: “At approximately midday on February 18, 2022, a fatal accident involving two of our team members occurred in Hampshire as a result of Storm Eunice.

“Whilst they were travelling home, a tree fell on their vehicle. Tragically Mr Jack Bristow lost his life and Mr Callum Smith was taken to hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

“We would like to thank members of the emergency services who responded to the incident, as well as hospital staff. We are working with the Hampshire Police to support their enquiries.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of Mr Jack Bristow and Mr Callum Smith. We politely request that the privacy of both families is respected during this incredibly difficult time.”

A message on the company’s fundraising page adds: “Jack was very popular amongst the lads, hardworking and always had a smile on his face. Nothing was ever too much trouble.

“Jack, 23, was a proud father to his one year old son and a loving parter to his girlfriend, He was his mum’s precious lad and will never be forgotten.

“We will miss you Jack…”

David Johnston, the MP for Wantage and Didcot, where Mr Bristow lived, has also paid tribute to his constituent in the House of Commons this week.

Mr Johnston said: “He’d been using his truck to help with the aftermath of the storm down in Hampshire when a tree fell on it.

“He was only 23 years old and had a one-year-old son.”

He added Mr Bristow was a “beloved son, grandson, friend, partner and dad”.

The MP’s comments were echoed by business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who added the father-of-one’s death was a reminder of the “real human costs” of extreme weather.

It has been reported that Mr Bristow was the first person in England to lose their life as a direct result of Storm Eunice on Friday, which also resulted in widespread damage and power cuts for millions of homes nationwide.