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Fundraising page set up for tragic teenager’s funeral surpasses £3,500
Tuesday 5th December 2017 @ 11:24 by Adam Higgins
Hyde News

Tributes have been paid to a Denton school boy who was killed after being hit by a car on the M67. 

Samuel Berkley, 14, was found in a critical condition after being hit by a grey convertible BMW on the motorway in Hyde at 5:25pm on Friday night (December 1).

The teenager, who had just become an uncle, was a talented footballer who had recently started playing for Hattersley Juniors FC.

Pupils at Audenshaw School where he went are receiving counselling and a JustGiving page has been set up, which has since raised over £3,500, to help Sam’s parents with funeral costs. You can donate by clicking here.

Floral tributes have since been left on a footbridge on the M67 and outside the Hazel Street school.

Minute’s silences were held throughout the area before football matches over the weekend in tribute to Sam.

A family tribute released by Greater Manchester Police said: “He went to Audenshaw School with many friends and lived at home with his parents Sarah and Gary in Denton.

“He has a big brother called Scott, 21, and an older sister called Charlie, 20, and had just become an uncle to his brother’s new baby, Lilly.

“His family said they are completely heartbroken by their loss and although nothing will ever replace losing Sam they hope everyone remembers him for the fun, outgoing and friendly boy he will always be.”

Hattersley FC released a statement on their website, paying tribute to Sam. Deputy Chairman Mark Hunt wrote: “This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my role at this club and it is written with a heavy heart. Yesterday afternoon one of our under 15’s Jets players was involved in a collision on the M67 and has sadly passed away in the early hours.

“The player is Sam Berkley who I have met several times and a nicer lad you could never meet, myself and everyone at the club would like to send our condolences to his family and will be here if needed by anybody. RIP Sam. #1family.”

Audenshaw School have also paid tribute to Sam, saying: “On Saturday we learned about the tragic death of our Year 10 pupil Sam Berkley, who died following an accident on Friday, December 1.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and friends at this sad time. As many of you may know, Sam was a very bright and likeable young man and his sudden loss is hard for us all to come to terms with. The emotional health and well-being of our students at this terrible time is our over-riding priority.

“We fully understand that lots of students and staff will be deeply affected by Sam’s death. It’s a devastating event that has shaken us all. We did consider closing the school as a mark of respect. It was a difficult call.

“However, on balance we felt that being open would allow the whole school community to come together to support one another, show solidarity and to recognise Sam. We also wanted to be able to offer counselling and support to those who needed it. School will however close early at 1pm on Monday out of respect.

“If anyone would like to come into school to discuss things our door is open.”

The M67 was shut between junction 1 for Ashton-under-Lyne and junction 3 for Hyde as police investigated the incident on Friday. The BMW driver stopped at the scene and there have been no arrests.

A police statement said: “At 5.25pm on Friday, December 1, police were called to junction 3 of the M67 to reports that a boy was unconscious on the hard shoulder.

“On arrival, officers discovered the teenager in a critical condition and he was taken to hospital where he sadly died.

“It has been established that a grey convertible BMW was driving eastbound when it was involved in a collision with the teenager who was in the carriageway.

“The motorway was closed for several hours while officers carried out forensic and reconstruction work.”

Sergeant Lee Westhead, from Greater Manchester Police’s serious collision unit, is appealing to anyone who witnessed the collision or with any other information to come forward.

He said: “My thoughts are with the victim’s family who are being looked after by specially trained officers at this difficult time.

“While we work to uncover how this happened and piece together the moments before the collision, I’m asking for the public to help in any way they can.

“If you were in the area that evening and saw a pedestrian on the motorway, or have dash-cam images, please get in touch and share this information.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 4741 or 101, quoting incident number 1482 of December 1.