A 23-YEAR-OLD man has died after hitting a tree at an accident blackspot in Rocester.
Stephen Hallam, of Ashlea Drive, Mayfield, died at the weekend after his blue Ford Focus hit a tree on Ashbourne Road at 9.50pm on Thursday.
The driver, who was the only person in the car, had to be cut free from the vehicle by firefighters from Uttoxeter, Cheadle and a rescue tender from Longton and was taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire by West Midlands Ambulance Service with serious injuries where he sadly died on Saturday night.
His best friend, Karl Wood, said: “Steve was one of the best you could ever meet, always laughing and joking, no matter what.
“I’m going to miss him massively.” A neighbour in Ashlea Drive said: “Stephen was absolutely a lovely lad. He loved his car. He was very pleasant and was just lovely.
“Nothing was too much trouble for him and he always made a point of having a conversation and a laugh and joke.
“He was extremely hard-working and was always out the front polishing his car.
“It’s such a tragic loss, it’s just terrible.” According to his Facebook page, Mr Hallam was a delivery driver who graduated from Thomas Alleyne’s High School in 2005.
He leaves behind his girlfriend Jess Gallimore, from Uttoxeter, who is studying beauty therapy at Burton and South Derbyshire College, brother Daniel, sister Rachel Graffy, father Peter, from Burton, and mother Sue, from Ashbourne.
A tribute page to remember the car enthusiast has been set up on Facebook, called RIP Stephen Hallam, and messages have flooded in.
Aimee Rushton left a heartfelt tribute to Mr Hallam which read: “A heart of gold stopped beating, two shining eyes at rest, God broke our hearts to prove, he only takes the best, RIP Stephen xxxx.”
Tasha Ball said: “Rip sweety still can’t believe you’re gone will never forget you and that amazing smile that could light up any room. Keep remembering all the good times at school/ and in Mayfield. Xxxxx.”
Lynette Tomlinson said: “I know I hadn’t known you long Steve but in the short time I did you were one of the nicest, kindest, genuine people I could of ever met and I’m glad to of known you, RIP sweetie you will be truly missed lots of love xxxx.”
Ashbourne Road has seen multiple road traffic accidents in recent years, which has left nearby residents and councillors alike calling for improved safety measures so more lives are not lost needlessly.
Following this latest incident, a person who left their name only as Rete, said on the Advertisers website: “Thoughts go out to his family but when the hell is some thing going to be done on that road. I live in Rocester and fear if I will be next to have that dreadful knock on my door, about time speed cameras were there after three deaths. It is such a waste of life when it could be prevented.”
Following the incident a stretch of Ashbourne Road was closed while emergency services were in attendance. It reopened just before 4am on Friday. An investigation to determine the cause of the collision is now under way.
Witnesses to the collision are asked to phone Sergeant Ian Tanner at Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 782 of 22 November.