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Image clue in hunt for chief executive’s killer

Pictures Martin Bostock.
Super casino announcement at Blackpool Town Hall.
Blackpool Council Chief Executive Steve Weaver.

Pictures Martin Bostock. Super casino announcement at Blackpool Town Hall. Blackpool Council Chief Executive Steve Weaver.

This is the man French police believe is responsible for a horror hit-and-run that killed former Blackpool Council boss Steve Weaver.

Police in the small town of Malaucène have released an image of the man they are hunting after an out-of-control car crashed into the former council chief executive’s bike on Wednesday.

Mr Weaver’s family yesterday arrived in the south of France, where he had been holidaying at the time of his death.

He had been cycling along a country road, from Malaucène to Veaux, in Provence, when he was hit by an oncoming vehicle.

An air ambulance was called but the 64-year-old died at the scene from his injuries.

The driver immediately fled on foot, leaving the car in the middle of the road, and sparking a manhunt that has so far lasted three days.

Police told The Gazette they believe the car, a grey Fiat Punto, may have been stolen earlier that day.

Commander Sébastien Roussignol, of Vaison la Romaine Police, said: “It is not clear if it was stolen but that is a possible explanation.

“The cyclist had gone for a ride in the countryside when a car lost control, for reasons we don’t yet know, and crashed into him.

“The driver fled, leaving the car in the middle of the road. Unfortunately, we have not yet found him but we are still searching.

“The cyclist suffered serious injuries to his head and arm. He died at the scene.

“A helicopter was called but did not have time to get him to hospital.

“Mr Weaver’s family arrived yesterday morning and are helping with our 
investigation.”

Mr Weaver, a keen cyclist, was out on his bike at around 1.30pm on Wednesday when the incident happened.

French media are reporting the car may have been speeding, causing the driver to lose control, at the time of the collision.

The driver, thought to be in his 20s, abandoned the car and fled the scene on foot. Despite using police dogs to hunt the man, the trail ran cold and officers have now launched a public appeal in a bid to find the killer.

According to police, the man is of Mediterranean appearance, aged between 20 and 30, around 5ft 9ins tall and of slim build.

He was wearing a black T shirt, pale trousers and smart black shoes. He has dark, mid-length hair.

Police believe he may have been in the nearby village of Montfavet around the time.

Mr Weaver, who lived in Blackburn, worked at Blackpool Council for nearly a decade, retiring in 2011.

He leaves behind three children and three grandchildren.

Further tributes were today paid to Mr Weaver,

Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said: “Steve was someone who got stuff done, and whether you agreed or disagreed with him, there was no hidden agenda.

“He did everything for the town for the best reasons and was always very straight with people. He was always willing to meet with members of StayBlackpool to discuss with us issues which were happening in the town.”

Mick Grewcock, of the Queens Mansions on North Promenade, added: “Steve Weaver was completely committed to Blackpool and was a wonderful chief executive.

“He took a real interest and I remember him calling in to see the work we had done at the Queens Mansions.”

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said: “It is very sad news. Steve was someone who clearly had a passion for Blackpool and its regeneration and it is tragic he has been lost at such an early age.”

 
 
 

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