THE family of a motorcyclist killed by a falling tree in a Hampshire town have paid tribute to their "beloved son".

Jake Podesta, 28, of Muss Lane, King’s Somborne, was riding along Greatbridge Road at around 8.30pm, on September 14, when it’s believed he was struck by a falling tree.

Medical crews were called and despite attempts to save him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Now his family have paid tribute to him.

They said: “Jake was a beloved son and brother who put a smile on many a face with his quick-witted humour and jovial attitude, which spilled over into his ability to write rap music about many life situations.

“He will be sorely missed by all his family and friends.”

As reported, the freak incident occurred as the 28-year-old was riding into Romsey just after it became dark.

Police say a tree, or part of a tree, then fell onto the biker, severely injuring him.

A spokeswoman for the South Central Ambulance Service said: “We were called to a road traffic incident at 8.23pm (on Thursday) involving a motorcyclist that was hit by a tree.

“A rapid response vehicle, ambulance and inspector attended the scene to assess the patient, but he was sadly pronounced dead on arrival.”

Police were also at the scene on the crash.

Although unable to name the rider, a Hampshire Constabulary statement said: “At around 8.30pm (on Thursday) the motorcyclist was riding along the road when it’s believed a tree fell on him.

“His next of kin has been informed.

“We will not be able to name the deceased until formal identification procedures are completed.

“Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting Operation Zeal.”

On Friday morning, residents spoke of their shock and paid tributes to the biker.

“I’m in total disbelief that something like this could happen,” said Paul Matthews, who lives nearby the scene of the crash.

“It is nobody’s fault, the motorcyclist was just incredibly, incredibly unlucky. My thoughts are with his family.”

Another passer-by, who did not wish to be named, said: “The chances of this happening are so low; it is a shock that he has not just been hit by the falling tree but also died.

“I will be thinking of his family tonight and praying for them.”

Other tributes were paid to the man on social media.

One said: “Absolutely gutting – just a terrible tragedy. Wrong place, wrong time.”

A friend posted: “He was an absolute legend. So sad to an amazing person. We had great banter in and out of work. Full of comedy and jokes. RIP bud.”