Man charged with causing death by dangerous driving after former mayor of Bolton is killed in crash

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A man has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving after a former mayoress was killed in a crash on her way to the shops.

Assad Hussain, 23, was arrested after Gay Wharton, 58, former mayoress of Bolton, died in a horror crash on Friday.

Mrs Wharton, a grandmother, was walking into town to run some errands when she was hit by a black Audi just after midday.

She was pronounced dead at the scene despite the best efforts of medics who tried to save her life.

Officers said the driver fled the scene of the crash in Chorley New Road in Bolton, Gtr Manchester, at around 12.05pm.

But they arrested a man a short time later, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said.

Former mayoress Gay Wharton, 58, was killed in hit-and-run as she crossed Chorley New Road near Bolton School at around midday on Friday when she was making her way to the shops

Former mayoress Gay Wharton, 58, was killed in hit-and-run as she crossed Chorley New Road near Bolton School at around midday on Friday when she was making her way to the shops

Hussain has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

Mrs Wharton was well known in the town for her charity work, especially with the women’s refuge Fortalice and also set up a breakfast club for army veterans.

The grandmother – who worked at Russell and Russell solicitors – was mayoress alongside Cllr Martin Donaghy back in 2014.

Mr Donaghy led tributes to the mayoress, who also worked at Sainsbury’s.

He said: ‘Gay was one of our in-store trainers at Sainsbury’s and she was quite reticent about the idea of being a mayoress.

‘But I thought, no, she is going to be one of my mayoresses, and she really blossomed in the role.

‘And she continued with that work after her year as mayoress, particularly as part of Fortalice, because she believed in what they stood for.

‘She was such a caring and concerned person.

‘I’m obviously devastated and my thoughts go out to her husband Steve and her family.’

Current mayor of Bolton, Cllr Linda Thomas, said she was ‘devastated’ at the death of Mrs Wharton.

She added: ‘Gay was a lovely friend to so many of us. She touched so many lives and we all loved her.

‘She was an exemplary Mayoress and continued her good work being a great ambassador and fundraiser for Fortalice.

‘Gay made a massive contribution to the life of this town she will be sorely missed.

‘Our hearts go out to her family who we are all thinking about.’

Gill Smallwood, chief executive of Fortalice, met Mrs Wharton when she was mayoress and said the pair ‘got on instantly’ and became friends.

She said Mrs Wharton was ‘thrilled’ to be asked to become a patron and had worked hard for victims of domestic abuse ever since.

Gill said: ‘She was always at the forefront of fundraising for us.

‘She organised the Mayor’s Christmas fair for us and would always come to events with me.

A 23-year-old man has been arrested and charged with causing death by dangerous driving and is due in Wigan and Leigh Magistrates court tomorrow. Pictured: The scene of the tragedy

A 23-year-old man has been arrested and charged with causing death by dangerous driving and is due in Wigan and Leigh Magistrates court tomorrow. Pictured: The scene of the tragedy

‘She was always out collecting for us, fundraising and talking about us. She was a wonderful patron with a huge heart.

‘She was one of the kindest people she had ever met. She will be so missed, not only as a patron but as a very special friend to me.’

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: ‘Gay was one of Cllr Donaghy’s mayoresses and became across all parties a friend to many of us, involved in numerous charities and fundraising wherever she could.

‘Always with a smile on her face, always supportive, always committed to improving the lot of others.

‘Our thoughts and love from us all at the council go to her family at this tragic news.’

Sergeant Andrew Page of GMPs Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: ‘A woman has sadly lost her life following this incident and our thoughts remain with her family and loved ones as they come to terms with this awful news.

‘This collision happened in broad daylight so we want to appeal to anyone who may have been in the area at the time to come forward and assist police with our inquiries.

‘We’re particularly keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision or may have dash-cam footage of the vehicle in question.’

Witnesses are urged to call police on 0161 856 4741 quoting incident number 1019 of 13/11/2020.

Source


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