FORMER Thomas Peacocke student Ben Curtis was found dead in a car which plunged 450ft down Beachy Head cliffs near Eastbourne.
Ben is believed he drove the car off the cliffs around 2pm last Wednesday watched by horrified daytrippers and tourists visiting the beauty spot on a hot summer’s day.
A rescue team involving coastguard and the fire service struggled to reach the wreckage until early Thursday morning because of the incoming tide.
His mother Sue spoke this week of her devastation and shock after the incident last Wednesday.
Mrs Curtis said she had no idea why her son would drive a car over a cliff. “We are in a state of total shock,” she said: “I only saw him last month and had no idea he could do something like this.
“He had been a bit depressed recently but nothing to worry about. He was just a lovely lad full of life and I can’t believe he has gone. We just can’t understand what has happened.”
Ben was living in Seaford with his girlfriend of 10 years at the time of his death. He was working as a general labourer at a nursing home and made regular visits back home to see his mother, sister Lucy and her children. Lucy, 31, said: “He was the perfect brother to me. He loved my kids and used to take them out and take them on trips.
“He was living over in Seaford but would come over when he could. I last spoke to him about four weeks ago. If we only knew why he did it.
“Life is very hard at the moment and some people can’t cope with things. He was such a good brother who gave everyone the time of day. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.”
A post mortem and inquest was expected to be opened and adjourned at Eastbourne Coroners Court this week.