A MAN from Blackburn who was a ‘loving son, brother, uncle and nephew’ has died after being hit by a car on the M61.

Gary Wood, 30, was struck by a Skoda Octavia at around 11.20pm on Saturday, after he had attended a gig in Manchester earlier that evening.

The incident happened on the southbound carriageway between Rivington North Services and Junction 6.

Mr Wood’s family have paid tribute to him, saying he had a ‘huge circle of friends’ as well as close family.

His family said: “Gary loved the outdoor life, he enjoyed fell walking, mountain climbing, mountain biking and also kept himself fit in the gym. Gary has a huge circle of friends and was loved by everyone who came into contact with him.

“He will be remembered as a fun, kind, honest and decent man.

“He was a loving son, brother, uncle and nephew and we are all devastated by his loss."

Mr Wood had gone to see rapper Tinie Tempah at the O2 Apollo hours before he died.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the incident, which saw the motorway closed for several hours while investigation work was carried out.

Sergeant Lee Westhead, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “We would urge anyone who knows anything about Gary's movements after he was last seen by his friends at a Tinie Tempah gig at the O2 Apollo theatre until the time of the collision, to contact police to help us piece together Gary's last hours.” Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 4741.