Tinie Tempah gig reveller died while walking on M61 - after taxi driver dropped him off because he said he had no money

Gary Wood

Gary Wood

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

GARY Wood said he did not have enough money to pay his taxi driver to take him all the way home - and minutes later he was dead after being hit by a car while walking on the M61.

Mr Wood - described as "the best son you could have" - was killed just minutes after a concerned motorist saw him on the motorway and called police.

An inquest in Bolton heard how the 30-year-old had been out with friends in Manchester on the night of March 29 after being offered a last-minute ticket to a Tinie Tempah concert.

But Mr Wood, who had been drinking heavily, decided to leave early and got into a taxi, asking driver Michael Tung to take him home to Blackburn, the court heard.

Mr Wood paid him an initial deposit of £20 and said he would pay more later.

But Mr Tung told the court that on the M61, when Mr Tung asked for the rest of the fare, Mr Wood said he had already paid and did not have any more money.

He later bought a can of Red Bull, however.

Coroner Alan Walsh was told how Mr Tung dropped his passenger off at the north bound Rivington Services where he asked a motorist for a lift, but was refused because they were not heading in his direction.

Petrol station cashier Ishak Patel told the court that he gave Mr Wood the telephone number of a taxi firm after becoming concerned he was drunk and without transport.

But Mr Wood, a window fabricator from Begonia View, Lower Darwen, was next seen on the hard shoulder by driver Joanna Slinger as she drove north on the motorway.

She said: ”I was worried as soon as I saw him.”

She became more concerned when she did not pass a broken down car so she stopped at the services at 11.20pm and rang 999.

The inquest was told that within six minutes of making the call police were sent to the scene and the motorway matrix signs were lit up to warn other drivers.

But before help could arrive it is thought that Mr Wood crossed the carriageway onto the southbound side of the unlit motorway and was hit by a Skoda Octavia. He was killed instantly.

Driver Philip Butler told the coroner that he was heading home to Bury with his wife and 17-year-old daughter after seeing a play in Cumbria, and was travelling at between 70 and 80mph.

He said he had no time to avoid a collision.

Recording a conclusion that Mr Wood died as a result of a road traffic collision, Mr Walsh added that he believed the pedestrian was disorientated because of the drink and the dark night and may not have realised the danger he was in.

He said: “The catalogue of tragic circumstances leading to Gary’s death could not have been foreseen."

After the inquest Mr Wood’s family said they did not blame the driver for the collision.

His mother Christine Fielding said: “It was just a tragic accident.”

She said Mr Wood, who had been due to go to her house the next day for Mother’s Day, was “the best son you could have”.

Comments (18)

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8:35am Wed 6 Aug 14

mtabassam says...

This story wrote a irresponsible person with wrong headline.
In journalism call sensational reporting . everybody should be carefully read this news.
This story wrote a irresponsible person with wrong headline. In journalism call sensational reporting . everybody should be carefully read this news. mtabassam
  • Score: -37

9:13am Wed 6 Aug 14

idav_uk says...

Your critisism would make more sense if all the words were in the right order.

And the reporter wouldn't have written the headline, that job is done by the sub editor.
Your critisism would make more sense if all the words were in the right order. And the reporter wouldn't have written the headline, that job is done by the sub editor. idav_uk
  • Score: 24

9:30am Wed 6 Aug 14

ohiogirl says...

Manchester to Blackburn does not consist of driving up the M61 unless the taxi driver was connecting to M65. Long way round though.
RIP
Manchester to Blackburn does not consist of driving up the M61 unless the taxi driver was connecting to M65. Long way round though. RIP ohiogirl
  • Score: 16

9:44am Wed 6 Aug 14

Boltonresident2012 says...

The headline implies the taxi driver was a heartless b*** who dumped him on the hard shoulder.

This is unfair and it was Mr Woods choice to start walking - he could have stayed there until morning and got it sorted out then.
The headline implies the taxi driver was a heartless b*** who dumped him on the hard shoulder. This is unfair and it was Mr Woods choice to start walking - he could have stayed there until morning and got it sorted out then. Boltonresident2012
  • Score: 35

9:49am Wed 6 Aug 14

Wolfie190 says...

Boltonresident2012 wrote:
The headline implies the taxi driver was a heartless b*** who dumped him on the hard shoulder.

This is unfair and it was Mr Woods choice to start walking - he could have stayed there until morning and got it sorted out then.
Sounded like he was scamming the driver trying to get home for £20. My first rule of drinking in Manchester is dont leave it till the last train to get home because any problems could leave you with a £50 bill in a taxi.
[quote][p][bold]Boltonresident2012[/bold] wrote: The headline implies the taxi driver was a heartless b*** who dumped him on the hard shoulder. This is unfair and it was Mr Woods choice to start walking - he could have stayed there until morning and got it sorted out then.[/p][/quote]Sounded like he was scamming the driver trying to get home for £20. My first rule of drinking in Manchester is dont leave it till the last train to get home because any problems could leave you with a £50 bill in a taxi. Wolfie190
  • Score: 16

10:43am Wed 6 Aug 14

stereo_world says...

Boltonresident2012 wrote:
The headline implies the taxi driver was a heartless b*** who dumped him on the hard shoulder.

This is unfair and it was Mr Woods choice to start walking - he could have stayed there until morning and got it sorted out then.
Agreed.

From the headline I assumed at first the taxi driver just pulled up on the hard shoulder and kicked him out of his car, leaving him to fend for himself. It's not until the 7th paragraph where we learn that he didn't.
[quote][p][bold]Boltonresident2012[/bold] wrote: The headline implies the taxi driver was a heartless b*** who dumped him on the hard shoulder. This is unfair and it was Mr Woods choice to start walking - he could have stayed there until morning and got it sorted out then.[/p][/quote]Agreed. From the headline I assumed at first the taxi driver just pulled up on the hard shoulder and kicked him out of his car, leaving him to fend for himself. It's not until the 7th paragraph where we learn that he didn't. stereo_world
  • Score: 33

7:13pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Ch227dsh says...

Such a shame
Such a shame Ch227dsh
  • Score: 4

9:04pm Wed 6 Aug 14

artistpaint says...

Taxi drivers id rather catch a bus....
Taxi drivers id rather catch a bus.... artistpaint
  • Score: -4

9:06pm Wed 6 Aug 14

artistpaint says...

Scum bag taxi driver for the sense of a humanity deed...
Scum bag taxi driver for the sense of a humanity deed... artistpaint
  • Score: -17

9:07pm Wed 6 Aug 14

artistpaint says...

Taxi drivers in general are scum
Taxi drivers in general are scum artistpaint
  • Score: -12

9:13pm Wed 6 Aug 14

artistpaint says...

I guess if you sit on your fat arse all day your going to have a stinky fat attitude ripping folk off with pathetic fares.
I guess if you sit on your fat arse all day your going to have a stinky fat attitude ripping folk off with pathetic fares. artistpaint
  • Score: -12

9:20pm Wed 6 Aug 14

jonolakes says...

Always plan your journey and ensure you have enough money to return home and be responsible not to get too lashed especially venturing out to manchester!! -- unfortunatly in this case a guy has lost his life and maybe he should have taken him to a police station and not a motorway carpark surrounded by danger in such a state!! tragic!!
Always plan your journey and ensure you have enough money to return home and be responsible not to get too lashed especially venturing out to manchester!! -- unfortunatly in this case a guy has lost his life and maybe he should have taken him to a police station and not a motorway carpark surrounded by danger in such a state!! tragic!! jonolakes
  • Score: 13

9:26pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Citizen Cane says...

To those who think that the taxi driver was being unfair - how about your wages or benefits aren't paid in full : same thing.
To those who think that the taxi driver was being unfair - how about your wages or benefits aren't paid in full : same thing. Citizen Cane
  • Score: 17

4:49am Thu 7 Aug 14

Count de Monet says...

jonolakes wrote:
Always plan your journey and ensure you have enough money to return home and be responsible not to get too lashed especially venturing out to manchester!! -- unfortunatly in this case a guy has lost his life and maybe he should have taken him to a police station and not a motorway carpark surrounded by danger in such a state!! tragic!!
How would a taxi driver from Manchester know where the nearest police station is? Many police stations have closed & many others are not open 24 hours a day.
[quote][p][bold]jonolakes[/bold] wrote: Always plan your journey and ensure you have enough money to return home and be responsible not to get too lashed especially venturing out to manchester!! -- unfortunatly in this case a guy has lost his life and maybe he should have taken him to a police station and not a motorway carpark surrounded by danger in such a state!! tragic!![/p][/quote]How would a taxi driver from Manchester know where the nearest police station is? Many police stations have closed & many others are not open 24 hours a day. Count de Monet
  • Score: 5

4:56am Thu 7 Aug 14

Count de Monet says...

artistpaint wrote:
Taxi drivers id rather catch a bus....
How would you catch a bus from Manchester to Blackburn late at night?
[quote][p][bold]artistpaint[/bold] wrote: Taxi drivers id rather catch a bus....[/p][/quote]How would you catch a bus from Manchester to Blackburn late at night? Count de Monet
  • Score: 4

8:05am Thu 7 Aug 14

Wolfie190 says...

jonolakes wrote:
Always plan your journey and ensure you have enough money to return home and be responsible not to get too lashed especially venturing out to manchester!! -- unfortunatly in this case a guy has lost his life and maybe he should have taken him to a police station and not a motorway carpark surrounded by danger in such a state!! tragic!!
He wasnt a child he got himself into this situation we all know not to play on motorways even at that time of night when the motorway is quiet.
[quote][p][bold]jonolakes[/bold] wrote: Always plan your journey and ensure you have enough money to return home and be responsible not to get too lashed especially venturing out to manchester!! -- unfortunatly in this case a guy has lost his life and maybe he should have taken him to a police station and not a motorway carpark surrounded by danger in such a state!! tragic!![/p][/quote]He wasnt a child he got himself into this situation we all know not to play on motorways even at that time of night when the motorway is quiet. Wolfie190
  • Score: 2

4:40pm Thu 7 Aug 14

luceymas says...

All you lot arguing about the taxi driver, but you have no comments for his family or the driver and his family? Think of what they have been going through since then.
All you lot arguing about the taxi driver, but you have no comments for his family or the driver and his family? Think of what they have been going through since then. luceymas
  • Score: 4

6:21pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Donkey Stone says...

artistpaint wrote:
Taxi drivers id rather catch a bus....
I'd rather you catch a bus also.
[quote][p][bold]artistpaint[/bold] wrote: Taxi drivers id rather catch a bus....[/p][/quote]I'd rather you catch a bus also. Donkey Stone
  • Score: 2

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