TRIBUTES have been paid to a young man who died after the van he was driving was involved in a collision with a lorry.
Alex Chard, from Saltney, who only recently turned 21, was killed when his Vauxhall Vivaro van was in a collision with an articulated lorry on the A50 in Leicestershire at about 9.25am on Thursday.
Mr Chard, of Salisbury Avenue, Saltney, was pronounced dead at the scene and had been en route to a job in Nottingham for his employers Barlows Electrical, based in Malpas, where he worked as an electrician.
Friends of Mr Chard, who was a former pupil of St David’s High School in Saltney, took to social media sites Twitter and Facebook to pay their respects to a friend they described as a ‘lovely lad who will be sorely missed’.
Mark Holden, contracts manager at Barlow’s Electrical, had worked with the popular worker since he first joined the firm as an apprentice at the age of 16 in 2008, and described him as a “model employee”.
He added: “He was always smiling and the news of his death has been a real shock and has been hard for us all to deal with here. He was well liked and loved by everyone who got to know him here and his death has been like losing a member of the family. He was one of the family.
“Alex started with us as an apprentice when he was 16 and we were grooming him for big things with the company. He had a very bright future and that is what makes this even more devastating. He had only just celebrated his birthday a couple of weeks ago.
“Customers loved him, everybody loved him. You would never hear anything bad said about Alex, he was that kind of lad.
“Words fail me. I couldn’t speak more highly of him and it really is hard to put into words how we are all feeling. We’re devastated and our thoughts are now with his family.”
Chester’s footballing fraternity also paid tribute to Mr Chard over the weekend, with Blacon Youth Club dedicating their 2-0 victory over Lache to the late 21-year-old.
A familiar face at the club’s Cairns Crescent ground, the club paid their respects by holding a one minute silence prior to the game and wearing specially made T-shirts during their pre-match warm up.
“It was a very emotional day,” said Blacon player manager Aden Shannon.
“We have lost a very good friend of ours. It has put football into perspective.”
Mr Chard attended St David’s High School from 2003 to 2008, with his former head teacher Tony Davidson offering a glowing tribute to someone who he described as being popular with both staff and peers alike.
“Alex was an absolute gem, one of the finest young men you could ever hope to meet,” he said.
“He tried his best in all areas, he kept his teachers happy and also maintained his reputation as one of the boys and he had an infectious smile and a positive outlook.”
Saltney councillor Richard Lloyd has expressed his sadness at the news and added to the tributes.
“I wish to convey my sympathy to the family at this sad time,” said Cllr Lloyd.
“The loss of any young person from our area is extremely sad news.”
Leicestershire Police are now investigating the incident and have appealed for any witnesses to come forward.
Detective Constable Seamus Burns, who is investigating the crash, said: “Both of the vehicles were travelling on the southbound carriageway when the incident happened.
“We are appealing to anyone who was driving on the A50 when the incident happened and saw either of these two vehicles in the moments leading up to the incident.”