Two British friends killed in quad bike horror crash in Turkey after smashing into 'hotel bus' on family holiday

14 June 2024, 11:06

Friends Matthew Steward and Cory Dove died in Turkey
Friends Matthew Steward and Cory Dove died in Turkey. Picture: Social media

By Kit Heren

Two British tourists have died in Turkey after they crashed into a 'hotel bus' while riding a quad bike.

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Friends Matthew Steward and Corey Dove, both 26 and from Harwich in Essex, died in the early hours of May 14 while on a family holiday.

Mr Steward's girlfriend Dannielle Rose, 24, said he and Mr Dove had left the hotel in Fethiye to go to a shop on the quad bike.

She was later told that the men had died - and she needed to come and identify their bodies or the army would remove them.

The circumstances surrounding their deaths remain unclear, and Mr Steward's parents Lisa and Gavin said they had been "lied to".

The weeks after the tragic incident have been "absolute hell", they added.

Matthew Steward and partner Dannielle Rose
Matthew Steward and partner Dannielle Rose. Picture: Facebook

Mr Steward and Ms Rose met at school and were friends for a long time, each of them having separate relationships and children before finally getting together.

Lisa and Gavin bought the couple the ten-day package trip to Turkey with Jet2 as a Christmas present, and they flew out two days before the fatal incident.

Mr Dove joined the couple in the town on the southern coast of Turkey and hired the quad bike. He was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Gavin and Lisa flew out to Turkey after the incident, and were told that they were unable to see their son's body because it had been removed for a post-mortem. They have also not been given their son's passport back.

Mr Steward
Mr Steward. Picture: Facebook

Two separate post-mortems were held in Turkey, which revealed two different causes of death - intracerebral haemorrhage and multiple traumatic injuries.

The parents also found the site of the accident, seeing pools of blood and blood spattered on rocks by the road, as well as parts of the quad bike and the bus.

Lisa said: "Dannielle can't go home at the moment, she's finding it very difficult to go home, and we're just heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken. Absolutely devastated.

"He's got a twin brother, James, and they did everything together. They didn't have many friends, they had each other, and he's just said: 'My life's done, my other half is gone.'We just have to keep going for him and the children. It's just heartbreaking."

Cory Dove
Cory Dove. Picture: Crowdfunder

Mr Steward was described by his family as a "hands-on dad" who was quiet and enjoyed metal detecting, spending time with his children, and fishing.

Ms Rose said in a post on Facebook: "It breaks my heart to announce that Matthew Steward has unexpectedly died on our family holiday!

"He leaves behind 3 incredible children. He is going to be truly missed by so many! I’m still in such disbelief! But id like to thank everyone who have sent their condolences to me and to all the family. It’s been very overwhelming but appreciated.

"He was truly one of a kind. So grateful to him for taking on my little girl as one of his own and being the fun but over protective dad to his little boys. A loving boyfriend who was just truly amazing to me. He has left a mark on all of us forever.

"We Love you so much".

Matthew Steward
Matthew Steward. Picture: Facebook

Ms Rose also launched a fundraiser for Mr Steward's headstone, which has garnered over £2,700 in donations out of a target amount of £4,000.

A spokesperson for Jet2 said: 'Our teams provided full support and assistance to Ms Rose following this tragic incident, and we continue to offer our heartfelt sympathies to all of the families and friends of the deceased.

"Following the incident, our teams were present to assist with translating instructions on behalf of the Turkish authorities."

Friends have also paid tribute to Mr Dove, and a fundraiser for his funeral costs has raised over £3,000.

One friend said in a tribute on social media: "You was the one person I didn’t think this would happen to even tho you was a little crazy and the memories we had the fast driving and the all the business ideas we had to become multi millionaires together".

Addressing both men, another friend said: "There will not be a day that goes by where I'm not thinking about u both you was both very good friends of mine and all the things u did for me rest easy boys [until] we meet again".

Full inquests will be held in Turkey and in the UK, with the British hearing to take place in February 2025.

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