Comedian Tony Knight Killed at 54 by Falling Tree Branch

The UK native was killed in tragic accident during a festival in France.
Comedian Tony Knight Killed at 54 by Falling Tree Branch
(Matthew Jungling/Unsplash)
Elma Aksalic

Comedian Tony Knight was killed after a large tree branch fell from a tree on a windless day at a festival in southern France, according to relatives.

“He was only 54 and having the time of his life,” Joanne Allen, the sister of Mr. Knight’s partner, wrote in a Go-Fund-Me page set up on July 1. “He was fit, healthy, happy and had everything going for him. He was charismatic, funny, passionate and so very loved by [his partner] Hayley, his family and his friends all over the world.”
French media outlet La Tarn Libre said the branch fell on top of Mr. Knight and several others, injuring four, at the Rock’&’Cars Festival in Lavaur, France.

“Many witnesses present at 6 p.m. recount the sound of the branches cracking and the screams and then the arrival of help. Many say they were shocked to have witnessed this scene and some explain that they had been sitting at the site of the accident a few minutes before,” the outlet reported.

In a press release, the mayor of Lavaur, Bernard Carayon, extended his compassion to the family, adding that “never has such a dramatic event occurred in our city.”

All public access and demonstrations have been prohibited in the area until it’s determined safe, the mayor said.

Additionally, Mr. Carayon has asked the local social action center to set up a dedicated “psychological unit” to support witnesses and others affected by the tragedy.

Mr. Wright’s Australian partner of more than 15-years, Haley, “is now living her worst nightmare and facing life without Tony, her soulmate,” Ms Allen wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Mr. Wright had just finished paying off a home in the nearby French commune of Bouillac, where he planned to settle down with Haley, she said.

“She is in Bouillac having to deal with the difficulties of Tony being an Englishman with Australian residency living in France, arranging a funeral, covering hospital expenses, meeting police detectives, doctors and the mayor, visiting the accident site and sorting Tony’s estate, all while experiencing a crushing amount of grief and disbelief in a foreign country,” she wrote.

Mr. Knight had been performing his one-man comedy set “Mad Dogs & an Englishman” around the U.K., selling out shows, and was scheduled to appear at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.
Aside from comedy, Mr. Knight was known for his work with dogs as the “Dog Listener,” where he would help dog owners solve problem behavior.

“His passion was dogs and he helped people all over the world with his classes both in person, online, on radio and television, ebooks, and more. He was very well respected and admired. His method worked and he loved helping people with their dogs,” read his Go-Fund-Me page.

Mr Knight and his partner met when he helped treat her dog for anxiety.

In a statement on Instagram, Haley expressed gratitude for the outpouring of love and support she has received.

“I’ve loved hearing your stories about Tony & it’s also reinforced what a truly amazing, talented man he was. It’s a long journey ahead & the light at the end of the tunnel is nowhere to be seen, because he was that bright shining light,” she wrote. “In his honour please support your local dog rescue, catch an amateur comedy show or see an up & coming band ... whatever brings you joy.”
Elma Aksalic is a freelance entertainment reporter for The Epoch Times and an experienced TV news anchor and journalist covering original content for Newsmax magazine.