A tribute to a firefighter who died in a crash with his three dogs has been released.
47-year-old Mark Hillier suffered fatal injuries when his Suzuki Grand Vitara was in collision with a BMW X3 on the A345 last Thursday (12 October).
His family dogs – spaniels named Teddy, Coco and Joey – also passed away as a result of the incident – which happened as he responded to a fire callout.
Today, his wife Holly described him as a ‘brave and dedicated’ firefighter who will be remembered for the ‘countless lives he saved’.
She wrote: “Mark lived and breathed for the fire service, it was a calling he embraced with his whole heart. Mark died responding to a fire call, one of probably only a handful he didn’t turn out for.
“His bravery, sense of duty and unwavering dedication to serve his community in Pewsey and the communities in Salisbury and Surrey, alongside his brothers and sisters, he held so dear. The love he had for his fire service family was unquestionable. We were so proud of him.
“For the last six years, when not on duty, Mark has worked tirelessly to build us our forever home. We are so grateful to him for that. He was not only a great firefighter, but a skilled carpenter and craftsman, becoming a Jack of all trades.
“He tried them all and took great pride in his successes and achievements, and when it didn’t go quite to plan would state, “Well I’m a carpenter, not a plasterer”. However, by the last room, he was an excellent plasterer. We loved that he tried.
“Mark also made sure to make time for our four beautiful spaniels. His determination and dedication transferred to dog training, and it was a beautiful sight to see. Our dogs were incredible and so clever. They had the best life and were at their happiest snuggled up with us or when they were out running in the field or working with Mark.
“Their excitement came as soon as Mark picked up his coat, they just knew. Sometimes all he needed to do was walk towards the door and they would sense it was time. Surrounding his feet, excitedly, eagerly awaiting his cue, “Come on then”, and off they’d race to the back of the car, waiting to jump in. He did such an incredible job with them.
“Mark was responding to the call whilst out with three of our spaniels. That night, two of our dogs, Teddy and Coco also died with Mark, and Joey died a few hours later at the vets.
“The intense pain and devastation of losing Mark and our dogs is unimaginable and indescribable, we are broken and will never be whole again. The house is quiet. A huge part of our family has been ripped from us.
“We will be forever proud of you, as we knew you were of us. Your bravery, selflessness and countless lives saved will be remembered always. You will be forever celebrated and cherished. Mark, Dad, we love you wholeheartedly with everything we have. We miss you immensely. Until we meet again. Love you forever and always xxxxx.
“To help me keep Mark’s memory alive for myself and for my children Jaimee, Hayden and Isla, I have set up an email account, [email protected].
“If you have any photos of Mark or any stories about him, please share them with us, we would love to receive them. It has been an overwhelming sense of comfort reading messages and well wishes, Mark made such an impression and knew so many people. Please don’t hold back. Holly xx.”
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