Manhunt continues for French hit and run driver after Blackburn man's death

First published in News

THE manhunt for a driver who knocked a former council boss off his bike in a hit and run in France is continuing.

French officers have released an evofit of a man they think could be responsible for the accident which killed keen cyclist Steve Weaver, who was vital in the creation of Blackburn with Darwen Council becoming a unitary authority.

According to local news reports, police were able to create the picture after receiving information from witnesses.

He was described as being aged 20 to 30, of Mediterranean origin with dark skin. He had dark, short hair and sideburns.

The witness is reported to have said he was around 5ft 10ins tall, of slim build and was wearing a black T shirt, light-coloured trousers and black shoes.

Officers are pleading with residents living close to the scene to help them in their search.

Mr Weaver, 64, had been out for a bike ride near his holiday home in Provence when he was killed on Wednesday afternoon.

A police spokesman in Malaucène said: “We have not yet made any arrests. Inquiries are ongoing.”

The accident happened around 1.30pm between the hamlet of Veaux and the town of Malaucène, which is very popular with cyclists.

A medical certificate detailing the injuries the grandfather-of-three suffered has not yet been produced.

Michael Singleton, coroner for Blackburn, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, said he had not yet been told if he would be carrying out an inquest into the death.

Mr Weaver’s funeral is due to be organised in the coming days.

Tributes continued to be paid to the father-of-three, who was also chief executive of Blackpool Council from 2002 to 2011, yesterday.

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Kate Hollern said: “Steve was an absolutely wonderful individual who was totally, totally committed to public service.

“He was pretty amazing and had wonderful insight.

“It is a sad loss and my heart goes out to his family. It is just so sad.”

Coun Paul Browne, who represents Darwen’s Sudell ward, said he was part of a panel that interviewed Mr Weaver for the council’s chief executive position.

He said: “He did not get it, but I thought he was an absolutely brilliant officer.

“I found him to be a very, very competent person for the job. He really knew his stuff that lad.

“I was really sorry to see him go to Blackpool.

“Steve got on with everybody, no matter what particular party they were from.

“I was really upset when I read what had happened in the newspaper.”

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