The mum of ‘fun-loving’ police officer Luke Van De Sande has paid tribute to him on the anniversary of his death.
The 28-year-old was riding his bike through Staffordshire with a group of friends when he crashed into a fence in Cold Meece on August 27 last year.
Despite medics trying to save Luke, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
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His mum, Carol Close, has now paid tribute to Luke, who was about to start training to become a firearms officer when he died.
She said: “He was crazy, fun-loving. On the darkest days Luke would always make the sun shine.
“He was full of practical jokes, but in a nice way, he could make every situation just that little bit bright and so, so proud that day I remember him having his certificate at his attestation and standing up in that room saying ‘proud of you son.’
“As a mother, I’m obviously devastated he’s not here anymore but how far he’d come and how many lives he’d actually touched in the short 28 years he was here and the difference he had made to Staffordshire Police by lifting the spirits of his fellow officers.
“He’d just got through the initial part of his training to become a firearms officer which was one of his aims.
“Everything he did, he gave 110 per cent and I am so, so proud to call him my son.”
Some of Luke’s colleagues are continuing to raise money in his memory raising fund for what has been called Luke’s Legacy.
So far money has been raised for a DocBike – a special motorcycle which would enable medics to quickly reach and treat accident victims.
Carol added: “I would like people to smile and think what a character Luke was and think of all of the positive stuff that will carry forward this legacy in his name.”
Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Gareth Morgan paid tribute to Luke on social media. He said: “Thoughts today are with Carol and all Luke’s family, friends and colleagues as we remember him a year since his death.
“His memory and legacy is very much alive but I know today will be hard for everyone.”