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Man arrested after hit-and-run kills former Bolton mayor
14 November 2020, 20:57 | Updated: 14 November 2020, 21:02
A man has been arrested as an investigation gets underway into a hit-and-run on a former Bolton mayor.
Detectives confirmed on Saturday that a 23-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in custody for questioning.
Officers were called at midday to Chorley New Road in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on Friday to reports of a collision involving a black Audi and the a 50-year-old woman - later named locally as former mayor Gay Wharton.
She was hit by the car, which failed to stop, while crossing the road and died at the scene shortly afterwards.
Sergeant Andrew Page told reporters: "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 enquiries."
A tribute to our dear friend Gay Wharton who was tragically taken on Friday.A small gesture for Gay who had the biggest of hearts,helped & was loved by so https://t.co/CaVIWKXwZ8 @boltoncouncil @FortaliceBolton pic.twitter.com/qZ8fuGSTeF— Cllr Linda Thomas (@lindathomas_uk) November 14, 2020
Floral tributes for our dear friend @Wharty33 in Queens Park. Nice to see some of her friends & colleagues there this afternoon and remembering her. ❤@ballydonna @lindathomas_uk @TOMolloyMEN @FortaliceBolton @CllrWatters @BoltonFM @TheBoltonNews pic.twitter.com/MKKbK5e15H— Kevin Morris (@redkev71) November 14, 2020
Meanwhile, tributes have poured in for Gay from former colleagues and friends, including the current Mayor Linda Thomas.
Posting a picture of flowers laid by locals mourning the tragic death, she tweeted: "A tribute to our dear friend Gay Wharton who was tragically taken on Friday. A small gesture for Gay who had the biggest of hearts, helped & was loved by so many."
Friends have set up a fundraising page for Fortalice - a charity she was heavily involved with during and after her time as mayor.
Detectives continue to investigate the incident and have appealed for witnesses to come forward - especially those on Chorley New Road around the time.
"We're particularly keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision or may have dash-cam footage of the vehicle in question. Please come forward and speak to police," Sgt Page added.
He urged anyone with information or dash-cam footage to contact police on 0161 856 4741 quoting incident number 1019 of Friday.