Man held after former town mayoress killed in hit-and-run accident

·2-min read

A former town mayoress in her 50s has died after being involved in a hit-and-run car crash in Bolton, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have said.

Gay Wharton was hit by a black Audi as she was crossing Chorley New Road on Friday.

The vehicle that hit her did not stop at the scene.

Ms Wharton died at the scene, police said.

A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in police custody for questioning.

Current mayor Cllr Linda Thomas wrote on Twitter her loss was "devastating" for both the council and Bolton.

She said Ms Wharton was "great at bringing people together" and praised her fundraising efforts for domestic abuse charity Fortalice Bolton.

Cllr Thomas added: "Loved by all for her kindness and passion to help. A wonderful person, we're all so sad."

Ms Wharton was the mayoress in 2014 alongside then mayor Cllr Martin Donaghy and another mayoress, according to the Bolton News, after the three worked together at the town's branch of Sainsbury's.

Sergeant 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 on 0161 856 4741 quoting incident number 1019 of 13/11/2020.

Alternatively, details can be passed on anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.