Caia Park youth worker's family and friends reflect on tragedy

Published date: 30 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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THE family and friends of a man who died after a car crash say they are struggling to come to terms with his death.

Darren ‘Coco’ Roberts, 31, died on December 6, a day after being involved in a two-vehicle collision on the A541 at Afonwen in Flintshire.

Speaking from their home in Caerwys, Darren’s partner Clare Ponton said she and their 10-year-old daughter Charlie-Louise were still to trying to come to terms with the tragedy.

Miss Ponton said: “Darren, or Coco as he was known to many, had worked as a project co-ordinator at The Venture Adventure Playground for Children in Caia Park, Wrexham, for many years.

“He initially worked as a volunteer and more recently as a paid employee. Darren is originally from Caia Park and he felt he owed it to his community to give back something to help the local youngsters.

“He gave so much to the Venture, he was dedicated and committed. He often stayed late and gave up his weekends to help manage the football teams.

“Charlie and I were overwhelmed by the huge numbers who turned out to pay their respects during his funeral. You can’t imagine how proud we felt seeing so many people at the church and outside The Venture for Darren’s final journey there.

“It really has helped us both through this very difficult time. Darren and Charlie had a great relationship, they were like best mates, always mischievous and playing jokes on each other.

“Charlie will miss him so much but I know she and I will take great strength from the hundreds who turned out to say goodbye to her dad.”

Mr Roberts lived in Caerwys for more than 12 years but still had strong links to Wrexham through family and friends at The Venture.

He loved watching football, particularly Wrexham or Liverpool.

Miss Ponton said: “After Christmas we went to The Venture where friends, family and colleagues remembered Darren at a special charity football match held in his name. Darren would have loved to have been there.

“Darren was a totally selfless person and did a great deal for the local kids and charities, he received praise from lots of different people and organisations such as the Prince’s Trust .

“Darren seldom spoke about his achievements to me but that was Darren being Darren.”

The support received from friends and family in Caerwys and Wrexham since Darren’s death has been overwhelming for Miss Ponton and Charlie.

Miss Ponton added: “I would particularly like to thank Darren’s cousin Donna, and Bryn who have been a tower of strength to us. Darren was everything to Charlie and me, he was our world and we miss him dearly.

“He will be missed so much by so many and all his family and friends but I’m certain he won’t be forgotten.”

Chief officer at The Venture and Wrexham, Cllr Malcolm King, said: “Everyone at The Venture and in the community is still coming to terms with the loss of such a hugely loved and valued friend and colleague.

“It has been a struggle to carry on with many of the things he was involved with simply because he was such a unique and special person.

“I guess we will never properly fill his shoes. We miss him terribily and no doubt we always will.”

A police investigation into the collision involving a blue Peugeot estate and grey Hyundai Active on December 5 is still ongoing.

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