Man struck by car after friend’s wake

A YOUNG man was fighting for his life in hospital yesterday after being struck by a car in an apparent hit and run outside his friend’s wake.

As revealed in today’s edition of the Herts Advertiser, messages of support have flooded into a Facebook group set up for popular 26-year-old Deryck Bell from St Albans, who was critically injured in the incident involving a black Ford Focus in Mountbatten Close at around 8.15pm on Monday evening.

There have been suggestions that a dispute had broken out in the London Road Social Club where mourners were attending the wake of 27-year-old Alex Lewis from Kitchener Close who died while on holiday in Greece earlier this month.

Police believe the driver of the car which struck him fled the scene and a 28-year-old man from St Albans has since been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

Ambulance crews from Garston and St Albans treated and stabilised Deryck, a former Townsend School pupil who has a young daughter, at the roadside before he was taken to an awaiting trauma team at Watford General Hospital. He is now undergoing treatment at a London hospital but remained in a serious condition yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.


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In the Facebook group set up for well wishers to pass on messages to Deryck and his family, an update posted yesterday said he underwent surgery on Tuesday morning to relieve the pressure on his brain but stressed that he had not been in a coma.

It continued: “He is not sitting up and talking to people but he is off the ventilator and is breathing, albeit shallow. Deryck is also responding a little to people’s voices. He is still in a critical but stable condition.”

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In a demonstration of community spirit the group also gives details of a collection being gathered at The Camp pub to help Deryck’s fiancee and family with travelling expenses into central London, which is currently costing �20 per person per day.

Anyone wishing to donate should place all money to the family in a sealed envelope and hand it into the pub land lady.

Police were continuing to question the suspect yesterday afternoon and were still in the process of gathering witness statements.

Anyone with any information should contact police on 0845 3300222.

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