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Shock as popular barman dies in hit-and-run crash

FRIENDS of a popular barman killed in a hit-and-run accident have made an impassioned plea for the driver to give himself up to police.

FRIENDS of a popular barman killed in a hit-and-run accident have made an impassioned plea for the driver to give himself up to police.

Shaun Metcalfe, 34, died after being struck by what police believe was a red saloon at 3am on Sunday.

He had enjoyed a night out with friend Mick Ashby, 35, at the Hare and Hounds pub in Oswaldtwistle - where he had worked part-time for a decade - and the two men were crossing Blackburn Road on the way home when the accident happened.

Despite paramedics' efforts Shaun was dead on arrival at Blackburn Royal Infirmary.

Landlord Clarence Holmes, his boss and friend, had tears in his eyes as he said: "He was a good lad and will be missed by all who knew him. The shock hasn't sunk in yet.

"Shaun enjoyed his work here and we can't believe he's gone. It's horrible. Nobody wants to be working here without him.

"The driver should get in touch with the police. This pub is such a bubbly place as a rule. But now the whole community is devastated."

Shaun lived in Ruskin Avenue, Oswaldtwistle, with his brother Mark, 35, and mum Jennifer, 51. Both were too grief-stricken to talk about the incident.

Witnesses said after the accident the car pulled up about 30 yards away, reversed briefly for 20 seconds and then sped off towards Accrington.

Detective Superintendent Mick Gradwell, leading the investigation, said CCTV footage of the car was being enhanced and a tyre print from Shaun's clothes assessed, but he would welcome more witnesses.

He said: "The car apparently has a white sign on the side behind the driver's door. It could be a delivery vehicle of some sort. It's likely Mr Metcalfe had slipped because he was lying down when the car struck him. The vehicle we're looking for will probably only have slight damage to the bumper.

"The public response has been very good but we urge anyone who saw anything to come forward, and we urge the driver to come forward too."

Friends said Shaun loved working and socialising in the pub where he played pool, darts and dominoes. He also loved sea fishing and travelled the country to pursue his hobby.

Trevor Charnley, 43, of Percy Street, Oswaldtwistle, said Shaun's death had angered the community.

"Everybody hopes the driver comes forward because it's torn the community apart," he said. "Shaun was a good laugh. He was always smiling and was popular. I'm absolutely gobsmacked. We played in the same pub pool team."

Douglas Rushton, of Spread Eagle Street, West End, said: "I used to babysit him when he was young. It's unbelievable he's gone."

Tributes have also flooded in from Shaun's colleagues at Baron Mercer's wood machinists in Accrington, where he was a polisher and foreman.

Manageress Shirley Aspinall said he had been an ever-present employee since he was 16 and spoke of his reliability.

She added: "He had risen through the ranks and worked hard for us for 18 years. Obviously, he will be massively missed by everyone."

Shaun, whose dad Reg died three years ago, also leaves a sister Christine, 28, and eight nephews and nieces.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist