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Formula One 'Spygate' Engineer Killed In Crash
A former Ferrari engineer who was at the centre of Formula One's "spygate" scandal has been killed in a road accident.
Nigel Stepney, who was sacked by Ferrari after being accused of sabotage and leaking confidential information, was killed on the M20 near Ashford in Kent after being struck by a lorry.
Police are investigating why Mr Stepney stopped on the hard shoulder and got out of his VW Caddy van in the incident on Friday morning.
The 56-year-old, who was working for the JRM motorsport team at the time of his death, has been praised by his family as "a wonderful partner and a hands-on dad".
Mr Stepney's long-term partner, Ash Naidoo, said he was "larger than life and full of energy".
"Motor sport was his passion topped only by his love and devotion to Sabine (his daughter) and I.
"Nigel was a wonderful partner and a hands-on dad who was besotted with his daughter who idolised him in return.
"They loved each other's company and Sabine was his shadow - delighting in helping him around the garage. Even if Nigel had to be away from home, he would phone her every day."
James Rumsey, the owner of JRM, said: "The motorsport world has lost one of its greatest characters and competitors.
"He will be sorely missed and we send our sincere condolences to his family and the many friends he leaves behind."
Before the "spygate" controversy he worked with world champions Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.
Mr Stepney never worked in Formula One again after the scandal, which came to light in 2007.
It emerged when a technical dossier on Ferrari cars was found at home of McClaren chief designer Mike Coughlan.
McClaren were given a record fine and kicked out of the manufacturers' championship after being accused of using the data.
Mr Stepney was sentenced to 20 months in prison after being found guilty of sabotage, industrial espionage and sporting fraud.
He did not serve the sentence.