Contestant dies from head injuries after charity pram race crash

A charity race contestant dressed as a Second World War pilot died after the pram he was competing in "flipped."

Francis O'Sullivan, 52, suffered serious head injuries at the annual Sutton Valence pram race, near Maidstone, on New Year's Day.

Mr O'Sullivan, known as "Titch," was being pushed in a home-made Spitfire cart during the charity soapbox event by two fellow contestants - also dressed as RAF pilots.

Sporting leather jackets, goggles and scarves, thousands of people had lined the streets to watch the trio and others in the popular race.

But during one race shortly after midday, the pilots' soapbox travelled "a lot quicker" than other competitors, sending the three men flying.

Floral tributes were laid at the scene of Mr O'Sullivan's death Credit: ITV Meridian

The kart tipped on its side next to a first aid tent and off duty paramedics and spectators rushed to Mr O'Sullivan's aid.

He was transported by air ambulance to Kings College Hospital suffering from serious head injuries, but died at 1am on Tuesday.

One eyewitness described: "It all happened so quickly and then I saw blood on the floor.

"The three RAF guys were going a lot quicker than the pram in front of them."

Mr O'Sullivan's sister, Jeanette, paid tribute to her brother as a "great brother, dad and uncle."

Writing on Facebook, she said: "My beautiful brother tragic accident whilst competing in the Sutton Valence pram race.

"Love you always and forever in our thoughts a great Brother Dad and Uncle. May you sleep tight and smile down on us. Sweet dreams. Love you for ever your family xx."

The Sutton Valence pram race was in its 37th year.