A TEENAGER who died after being hit by a car in the early hours of New Year’s Day has been remembered as a selfless soldier.
Michael Ian Gallagher, 17, of Llys Tudor, Denbigh, was involved in a collision with a white Volkswagen Polo on Mold Road, Gwersyllt, Wrexham, at about 12.40am on Tuesday. He was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital but died later that day.
Ian’s parents, Alan and Andrea, his brother Phillip, sister Beth, his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins have been overwhelmed by the support from his friends and the local community.
Alan said: “The messages and the outpouring of support from the communities of Denbigh, Caerwys and Wrexham have been incredible. We have been so touched by the warmth of feeling from his many friends.”
A former Denbigh High School pupil, Ian was well known in Caerwys where his grandparents live. For the past six months he had been a student at the Motivational Preparation College for Training (MPCT) in Wrexham and had started his application to join the Army and was well on his way to achieving his ambition of becoming a soldier.
MPCT founder Huw Lewis said: “Ian was an excellent student who was committed to his course in public services and his goal in life was to join the military.
“He was very popular among his peers, an excellent team player and always keen to learn and go the extra mile to help others. He will be missed by us all.”
Ian’s father said: “In our eyes he was already a soldier. We are extremely proud of him and all he achieved. Ian was never afraid to raise his head above the parapet and stand up for the right things. He cared deeply for his family and friends and always put others before himself.”
Ian had a special place in his heart for the newest member of the Gallagher family, his nephew, nine-month-old Riley Jay.
Riley Jay’s father, Phillip, Ian’s brother said: “Ian looked out for everyone. He loved Riley. The teddy bear he gave him for Christmas is a special present which we’ll keep for him until he’s older.”
Alan and Andrea paid tribute to all those who helped Ian after the incident.
Alan said: “The emergency services, the medical staff, those who were with him, we are deeply grateful for everything they did for Ian. We cannot thank them enough.”
On Wednesday night Ian’s friends set off fireworks and Chinese lanterns at Cae Howell playing fields in Denbigh. A banner was made with pictures and tributes to Ian on it and other friends who could not attend lit candles at their homes in his memory.
Floral tributes have been left at the scene of the collision and more than 270 people have joined a memorial page on Facebook.
The Mayor of Denbigh, Raymond Bartley, said: “On behalf of the residents in the town I offer my condolences to the family. It’s tragic.”
l A post-mortem examination returned a provisional cause of death as multiple injuries consistent with a road traffic collision.
John Gittins, acting coroner for North Wales (East and Central), has opened an inquest into Ian’s death and adjourned it to a date to be set.