'Life will never be the same' – Portishead family pay tribute to man killed in crash

PUBLISHED: 16:07 19 February 2019

Sean ran the Bristol Half Marathon of CLIC Sargent a few years ago. Picture: Family

Sean ran the Bristol Half Marathon of CLIC Sargent a few years ago. Picture: Family

Archant

The heartbroken loved ones of a Portishead man say a ‘light has gone out in our lives’ after a car crash claimed his life.

Sean Owens.Sean Owens.

Sean Owens died after his van collided with two lorries on the Bristol ring road on Thursday lunchtime.

The 53-year-old, who worked for Bristol Water as a reinstatement manager, was driving between jobs at the time of the crash – which police are investigating.

Sean shared 10 years with his ‘soulmate’ Dawn Smith – co-owner of The Phoenix Bar in Victoria Square.

She said: “We are all absolutely devastated, I can’t believe this has happened. Sean suffered ill health for a couple of years in 2015 but we had got through that and had started living life to the full again.

“Sean was my absolute rock and I was his. I can’t express the void this has left in my life.

“I just can’t imagine life without him.”

Sean, who was an avid fan of Gordano Rugby Club, moved to Portishead a decade ago for a job and he then met Dawn.

After falling in love the couple bought a home in Brampton Way, a short walk from the Phoenix – where he would often be seen lending a hand by pulling pints and charming punters with his sense of humour.

Monica, who runs the bar with her daughter Dawn, described Sean as the family’s ‘backbone for the past 10 years’, adding: “Life will never be the same.”

Sean leaves behind two sons from a previous relationship – Alvin and Kraig – plus grandchildren Kade, aged 10, and 18-week-old Parker.

He was step-father to Dawn’s daughters Tamsin and Tasha, and step-grandfather to 14-year-old Myia. Sean also had a brother.

Alvin said: “This is all such a shock. He was a great dad and I am so sad my 18-week-old son won’t know his granddad.

“My dad would have taught him so much. Dad saw me through thick and thin, no matter what he was always there for me.”

Tamsin added: “Sean was more like a dad to me than anyone else has ever been. He was a big character, so full of life.

“A light has gone out in our lives. We all miss him – it hurts so much.”

The bar has stayed open through the ‘extremely difficult time’, and Dawn believes Sean would have wanted it that way.

She added: “People have been so kind, we can’t thank them enough for their kind words and actions.

“We made the decision to keep the bar open as we know Sean would have been horrified to think he had caused it to close for even one shift. Having the business to run over the past week has given us all focus, something to keep us going.

“We really appreciate the support of our Phoenix family – all our friends and customers. They have been a huge help to us.

“The police, too, have been really great.

“For everyone helping us through this extremely difficult time, thank you so much.”

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