Holidaymaker in hit-and-run tragedy

Mark Brian Leech (right) with a friend

Mark Brian Leech (right) with a friend

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A WIGAN joiner was killed following an horrific hit-and-run incident on holiday with friends.

Mark Brian Leech died as a result of severe head injuries and fractures sustained after he was knocked down when crossing a busy road in the Spanish resort of Benalmádena in Malaga.

His devastated family are still fighting for justice for their son.

After the inquest, Mark’s uncle, David Evans, said: “A year on and we get some answers but it still can’t bring him back. We just want justice and whoever was responsible to be made accountable for their actions. I hope the man who did this will stand trial.

“This year has been painful and it doesn’t get any easier. There have been so many family and friends who have been affected by that night.

“There are grandparents whose health has suffered and his friends still bear the memories. Mark had a huge circle of friends.

“I would like to thank the coroner’s office and the authorities for all of their support.”

The 26-year-old from Atherton had enjoyed a night in the area’s main resort, where he had been many times as a child, eating and drinking with his friends before heading home at around 4.30am on September 21, 2012.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard evidence from Paul Devine from the Police Coroner’s Office that Mark chose to walk the mile along the beach back to his hotel instead of getting a taxi back with the group.

Mark stepped out to cross the road when a car travelling at around 40mph collided with him, the impact flinging him onto the pavement. The driver then drove away.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by Spanish officers who arrived nine minutes later at 5am.

A suspect has since been arrested and made a preliminary appearance at court in Torremolinos.

Deputy Coroner, Alan Walsh, said it was difficult to get answers as the incident happened in a country with a different justice system and apologised that a more in-depth inquest was not possible.

He said: “I am deeply saddened by Mark Brian Leech’s death. He was only 26 and a hard-working young man who worked as a joiner with his father.

“He went on holiday as young men do after working hard all year and went to an area he knew well.

“No-one could have foreseen the consequences.

“I am extremely saddened that he chose to walk and not get a taxi with his friends, which had devastating effects.

“I am very sorry to Mark’s family - his mother, father, grandparents and friends. I am very saddened that he lost his life in such a tragic way.”