Tributes to 'loved' man, 20, killed on e-scooter as driver, 25, charged with murder 'after road rage attack'

TRIBUTES have flooded in for a e-scooter ride killed after a van driver allegedly clipped him while chasing a cyclist in a road rage attack.

Ben Smith, 20, died yesterday in Bamber Bridge, Lancs, with a 25-year-old van driver tonight charged with his murder.

Samuel Bretherton, 25, of Leyland, Lancs., has been charged with Ben's murder and will appear before Preston Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

A second man, arrested on suspicion of criminal damage in connection with a wing mirror being struck from the Transit van just prior to the collision, has now been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Police were scrambled to Bamber Bridge after the horror unfolded just before 1pm yesterday.

Despite the best efforts of paramedics, Ben sadly couldn't be saved and died from his injuries.


Paying tribute, Ben's heartbroken family said: "Ben was a much loved son, brother, father, partner, grandson and friend to many.

"He has been taken from all of us in such tragic circumstances and we would urge anyone with any information to come forward to help the police."

A friend said: "Life is so cruel…my heart goes to Katelan, their beautiful little girl and his family.

"RIP Ben. Every part of me so wishes this could have been avoided."

Another said: "Rip Ben you will be missed! Prayers to his family and friends".


While Lostock Hall Juniors Football Club said: "We are extremely saddened to hear of a former LHJFC player being killed by a hit and run today in Bamber Bridge.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Ben’s family and friends at this terrible time.

"RIP Ben".

A post mortem examination to establish a cause of death will take place in due course.

Detective Chief Inspector Zoe Russo, of Lancashire’s Force Major Investigation Team, said: "I would like to thank the public for their support and the witnesses that have already come forward to tell us about what they saw.

"I am asking anyone who saw what happened but hasn’t yet made contact to speak to us.

“We know that this shocking incident has caused some concern within the local community but as legal proceedings are now active and out of respect for Ben’s bereaved family and friends, I would ask people not to speculate on social media.

"If you know something, please speak to us instead.”

The victim is one of the first e-scooter drivers to die in the UK.

In July 2019, YouTube star and TV presenter Emily Hartridge, 35, died after losing control due to a flat tyre and was thrown under a lorry in Battersea, London.

Last year, grandad Julian Thomas, 55, was killed when his e-scooter crashed into a parked car in South Wales.

Anyone with information can police on 101 quoting log 0545 of February 11th or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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