'We lost a piece of our hearts': Family and friends of 'loving' young dad killed in scooter crash fundraise for funeral

The friends of a 20-year-old dad, who was killed after being struck by a van in Bamber Bridge on Thursday, are now raising money in a bid to pay for his funeral.

By James Holt
Sunday, 14th February 2021, 2:49 pm
A fundraiser set up by his friends is now encouraging people to donate to help fund Ben's funeral
A fundraiser set up by his friends is now encouraging people to donate to help fund Ben's funeral

Set up by close friends, the page is already close to its target of raising £5,000, which will help pay for the funeral of Ben Smith, who died from his injuries on Thursday.

Ben, 20, from Walton-le-Dale, was hit by a Transit van on Station Road at around 1 pm on February 11 whilst riding his e-scooter.

Family, friends and members of the community then gathered for a vigil in memory of Ben on Thursday evening, bringing flowers and balloons to pay their respects.

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The Go Fund Me page 'In Memory of Ben Smith' is now raising money to help pay for his funeral and is close to the £5,000 target.

Friend Jack Waring said: "I had known Ben for years as we have a lot of mutual friends, and one of my good friends is his best friend. The reactions to the fundraiser have been great and everyone has been happy to donate. We just wanted to do something to help his family as much as we can.

"It still has not sunk in for anyone. All who know Ben know he was one of the most loyal and loving people you would ever meet. All his friends wanted to do something so that he could have the send-off he well and truly deserves.

"We are hoping to raise as much money as possible to contribute to his funeral costs and any extra funds will go towards his beautiful daughter's future. Ben was an amazing son, dad, partner and friend to everyone.

"He did not deserve this we all just need to pull through in this sad time."

It is understood that Ben was hit by the Transit van outside Morrisons, following reports of an altercation between the van driver and a cyclist moments earlier.

Officers believe the van's wing mirror was struck and damaged during this confrontation. The cyclist, aged 26 and from Bamber Bridge, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and then released pending further investigation.

It was announced yesterday that Samuel Bretherton, 25, of Mellor Road, Leyland had been charged with the murder of Ben and was due to appear before Preston Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Paying tribute to him, a family statement said: “Ben was a much-loved son, brother, father, partner, grandson and friend to many. He has been taken from all of us in such tragic circumstances and we would urge anyone with any information to come forward to help the police.”

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to contact us as soon as possible on 101 quoting log 0545 of February 11th.

Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org