Tributes paid to man hit and killed when van drove into group

By John Mercury December 18, 2023

A 26-year-old man who died after being hit by a van which drove into a group of people in a Derbyshire town centre has been named.

Samuel Wilson, from Long Eaton, was struck by the vehicle, alongside two other men, in Ilkeston just after 2am on Saturday.

He died at the scene while the other victims were taken to hospital.

The pair have since been discharged and are recovering at home, police said.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Constabulary said: “Our thoughts are with Samuel’s family at this distressing time.

“They have asked for privacy from the media as they continue to come to terms with their loss.”

A 27-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of murder shortly afterwards, remains in custody.

More than £7,000 has been raised for Mr Wilson’s family on a JustGiving online fundraising page.

His sister wrote on the website there were “no words” to describe the family’s loss.

She said: “Our hearts will forever be broken, and there are no words to describe the huge hole it has left in all of our hearts.”

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Football club Curzon AFC, where Mr Wilson played, also posted a tribute on Facebook.

It said in a statement: “It’s with a very heavy heart that we have to share the news that our kind, loving, funny, talented Number 12 and last seasons player of the season Sam Wilson, tragically lost his life early hours this morning.

“We’ve not just lost a player, we’ve lost a friend, a brother, a son, a boyfriend and all round one of life’s good guys, his impact on all of our lives will never be forgotten!

“Sam we love you and we will all miss you. Until we meet again keep looking down on us with that infectious smile. Love you mate from all at Afc Curzon.”

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Croome said officers were reviewing CCTV footage from the scene of the incident in Market Place.

He added: “I would like to thank all those who have come forward and spoken to us as part of our enquiries so far.

“We would particularly like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed or have any information about reports of an altercation at The Market Inn shortly before the incident.”

Police have said the incident is not believed to be terror-related.


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