Fatal F-18 jet crash pilot’s body repatriated to USA – BBC News

Image copyright Annie Driscoll
Image caption A memorial fund has been set up to raise money for the pilot’s daughter

The body of a US Marine Corps pilot who died when his jet crashed in a field in Cambridgeshire has been repatriated to the United States.

Maj Taj Sareen was killed when his jet came down at Temple Farm in Redmere, Cambridgeshire, on 21 October.

A Marine Corps spokesman said a celebration of life ceremony was being planned in commemoration of Maj Sareen, but no date has been set for it as yet.

He said the crash inquiry at the site near RAF Lakenheath “is still ongoing”.

A memorial page in honour of Maj Sareen, set up by his friend Capt Annie Driscoll – who served at RAF Lakenheath between 2011 and 2014, has so far raised more than $65,000 (43,000) for his 14-month-old daughter Jade.

Last week Peter Sizer said he was working in his shed with his son when the pilot crashed, just missing the building.

He phoned the emergency services when he heard the explosion.

“I heard a bang and saw this fireball, it was a huge shock. It was only 200m from our shed,” he said.

Image copyright Annie Driscoll
Image caption Annie Driscoll said Taj Sareen was “an amazing man”

“I would say that he is a hero. He saved our lives by swerving around the shed to miss us. It makes us both feel lucky to be alive.”

Maj Sareen, from Hillsborough, California, was returning home from a six-month tour against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria when the accident happened.

His plane is reported to have encountered issues with refuelling before he took off from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. However, the cause of the crash will not be known until an investigation by the Marine Corps finishes in around two to three months.

Mr Sizer said there has been a lot of activity on his farm, with US officials joining UK police to search the area for clues.

Image copyright Twitter/@Eagle_chaser
Image caption One of the F-18 jets was photographed at RAF Lakenheath on the day of the crash

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk

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