Tributes paid to former Bolton mayor killed in hit and run | UK news

Tributes have poured in for a former Bolton mayor after she was killed in a hit and run.

Gay Wharton, 58, died at the scene after being hit by a black Audi as she crossed Chorley New Road at around midday on Friday, Greater Manchester police (GMP) said. The driver did not stop following the collision.

A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He remains in custody for questioning, and police are urging witnesses to come forward with any information.

Sharing a photo of Wharton at a charity fundraising event, the town’s mayor, Linda Thomas, described her death as “devastating” and said Wharton had been “great at bringing people together”.

Wharton had been a “wonderful person” who was “loved by all for her kindness and passion to help”, Thomas said.

Wharton, a patron of domestic abuse charity Fortalice, was widely praised for her dedication. The organisation’s chief executive, Gill Smallwood, told the Bolton News that the 58-year-old grandmother was a “one of the kindest people she had ever met”.

“She was always at the forefront of fundraising for us … She was a wonderful patron with a huge heart,” she said.

Local business owner Sital Raja-Arjan wrote on Twitter: “You will be remembered by your massive heart, your selfless soul, and your passion to help everyone you knew.”

Sgt Andrew Page, from GMP’s 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. Please come forward and speak to police.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact police. Details can also be passed on anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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