Doves released at graveside of 15-year-old Penwortham hit and run victim

Family and friends of hit-and-run victim Dylan Crossey released white doves at his graveside with the message: "Our fight for justice goes on."

Monday, 4th October 2021, 12:38 pm
Six white doves are released at Dylan's graveside.

The 15-year-old's mother and siblings, together with up to 30 of his former school friends, remembered the football-mad teenager whose life was cruelly cut short in a late night collision with a car in 2016.

They laid flowers and listened to a poem and a song in memory of a boy described by one of this closest mates as "the best of all of us."

The service at the Hill Road Cemetery in Penwortham has become an annual event close to the anniversary of Dylan's death - it will be five years to the day on Friday.

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Dylan was described by his friends as 'the best of all of us.'

"We have done this ever since he died," said a tearful mum Tracey Milligan. "We do it to send a message to him.

"That message is that we will always fight for him and for justice. We will carry on for as long as it takes."

Tracey was speaking just nine days after Dylan's inquest in Preston was dramatically halted when in Lancashire Coroner Dr James Adeley referred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions to re-examine the case against driver David Harwood with a view to a possible charge of gross negligence manslaughter.

Harwood was acquitted of causing Dylan's death by dangerous or careless driving after a Crown Court trial collapsed three years ago.

Dylan's mum Tracey with family members at the service.

Now Lancashire Police have been asked to investigate the case again after concerns over the way the original probe was handled.

Solicitor Sefton Kwasnik, who represented Dylan's family at the inquest, was at the graveside to pay his respects and also released one of the six doves.

He told the gathering: "I have only known Tracey for three-and-a-half years and unfortunately I never met or knew Dylan. But through Tracey and everything I have learned I realise how special a boy and a man he was and was going to become.

"It is a major testament of his qualities that everyone is supporting his family today and continuing to show loyalty and love.

"We will continue the journey to get to the truth. The truth will come out, we hope. Let's hope we get some peace and closure."

Dylan's friends have continued to attend the service every year, something Tracey said was "so touching."

"They all come every year without fail. They are wonderful, they have kept in touch with me and supported the family through these last five years.

"We are planning something for his birthday in November because Dylan would have been 21 this year."

Ben Ashton, one of Dylan's best mates, said: "It's just good to get everyone together as a group. He was a very popular lad and a good kid. He wouldn't hurt anyone.

"Hopefully his family can get justice for what happened to him."

Another good mate Luke Lunn added: "Dylan genuinely was a good lad. He didn't get into trouble. He was polite, respectful and really into his football.

"Out of all of us he was the best."

And Andy Pilkington, his football coach for many years at Penwortham St Teresa JFC, said: "Dylan wasn't just a good player, he embodied everything we want from our youngsters at the club.

"He was hard-working, dedicated and committed. He had turned into a really fine young man - a credit to our club."

The club has retired Dylan's shirt number 18 in his memory.