Devastated family of Wigan man reach out for help following his tragic death
The family of a Wigan man who died after his mobility scooter was struck by a car are appealing for help from kind-hearted residents to pay for his funeral.
Michael Smith was travelling on Poolstock Lane at around 8.45pm on February 28 when he was hit by a vehicle which swerved off the road and ended up embedded in a van parked on a drive.
Following the collision, which involved a black Vauxhall Zafira, three people were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. The 53-year-old’s family, most of whom live in the south of England, have since paid tribute to Michael and have set up a fundraising page to help pay for his funeral closer to their home in Portsmouth.
The Gofundme appeal, put together by Michael’s mother, brothers and sisters, says: “Michael was originally from Southampton and majority of his family came from Portsmouth.
“Michael had family further afield as far as Australia and America.
“My brother was a gentle giant, he had a heart of gold and would help anyone. He was the most caring of people and will be sadly missed.
“We are raising funds to and bring him back to Portsmouth so his funeral can be held there. A memorial service will also be held in Wigan as well.
“Any funds over the cost of the funeral will be given to two charities that supported my brother while he was living up in Wigan.”
The two charities are the Wigan and Stockport branches of Shopmobility and the Find a friend Christmas dinner charity in Leyland.
One devastated relative, who asked not to be named, contacted the Wigan Observer to thank warm-hearted Wiganers for sending well-wishes and tributes to the family.
“It’s been quite emotional for all of us regarding all the lovely comments,” he said.
So far the investigation has seen two men aged 19 and 29 bailed and a 14-year-old who was initially arrested has been released with no further action.
Josh Simpkin, a Wigan resident, was travelling home from work at the time of the incident and attempted to give Michael CPR while he waited for paramedics.
He said: “At first we thought it was temporary lights holding up the vehicles but then we saw a body on the floor, a Vauxhall Zafira crashed in the back of a van on their drive and an off-duty nurse giving emergency first aid.
“Both my dad and I jumped out of the car as we’re both FA Level 1 first aid-trained and thought we could help in some capacity. Both of us also took turns to perform CPR until the ambulance took over.
“The off duty nurse was amazing she deserves a lot of credit for her professionalism and calmness in the situation.”
To donate to Michael’s funeral fund visit www.gofundme.com/raising-money-to-help-pay-for-funeral-costs
Anyone with information about the incident should contact GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4741, quoting reference number 2150 of February 28, 2019.