Over 60 people attended the memorial event marking two years since Pathushan Sutharsan was killed on the Downs Link: his family and friends, local residents and those from further afield concerned about the dangerous crossing.
Paul Sathianesan, a close friend of the family, spoke movingly of Pathushan’s life, a talented and selfless young artist who had wanted to do good in the world.
After two difficult years the family are finally able to begin reflecting on his life. Mr Sathianesan feels he can now speak proudly in seeing a common purpose where the community is coming together in trying to save another life.
“The number of people gathered here today gives us promise and hope that a bridge will happen. Everyone who crosses this path must be safe.”
“He has given his life. My humble request is please name it as ‘Pathushan’s bridge’. That will be his legacy.”
“Let us come together to protect another life. If he had been here, he would have been at the forefront of the campaign. Make sure he rests in peace with something good in his name.”
Members of Pathushan’s family, including his mother and father, his sister and two brothers – as well as many of his friends – came on the day and brought along photographs as well as examples of his artwork.
Pathushan’s cousin spoke of him studying architecture and that it would be appropriate to see a bridge built in his memory: “Something he never got a chance to do.”
Sean McDonald, a West Sussex councillor who is the Adviser to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport on Active Travel, spoke in support of a bridge and of the need to find the required funding.
Horsham District councillors Ruth Fletcher and Mike Croker were also in attendance along with David Buckley, chair of Rudgwick Parish Council.
Hilary Jubert (chair) and Francis Vernon represented the Bridge the Downs Link campaign.
The attendees later moved down to the crossing where further respects were paid and flowers were laid near the spot where Pathushan was killed.
Earlier in the day Horsham MP Jeremy Quin, who was unable to attend the memorial event, met with campaign chair Hilary Jubert at the crossing and reaffirmed his support for a bridge.