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Hornchurch hit-and-run victim’s death ‘leaves huge hole in all our lives’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 July 2015

Hit and run victim, Derek Bernstein, 58, is described as a loving husband, father, grandfather and sincere friend by his family

Hit and run victim, Derek Bernstein, 58, is described as a loving husband, father, grandfather and sincere friend by his family

James Ward Photography

The family of a hit-and-run victim who died last week have described him as a sincere and loving person.

Flowers and a West Ham scarf have been placed on Albany Road on the junction with Hornchurch High Street after 58-year-old father-of-two Derek Bernstein was killed in a hit and run last weekFlowers and a West Ham scarf have been placed on Albany Road on the junction with Hornchurch High Street after 58-year-old father-of-two Derek Bernstein was killed in a hit and run last week

Derek Bernstein, of Albany Road, Hornchurch, died after being struck by a vehicle a short walk from his home just after midnight on Thursday.

The 58-year-old was found to have critical injuries when the emergency services arrived at the scene – where Albany Road meets Hornchurch Road. London Ambulance Service pronounced him dead a short while later.

His widow, Linda, said: “There are no words that can express the deep and heartfelt sorrow we feel at the tragic loss of a loving husband, father, grandfather and sincere friend.

“Derek’s passing has left a huge hole, not just in our lives, but in the lives of all those lucky enough to have known him.”

Social media tributes to Derek

Natalie Curtis: Rest in paradise Derek, you were an absolute diamond xx

Jo Hodgskiss: Terrible news. Such a kind and generous man. Thinking of all Derek’s family and friends x

Giuseppe Milazzo: Very sad news. Derek was a ‘Top Bloke’. My thoughts are with his family.

Linda Deering Hewitt: I worked with Derek many years ago and will always remember him as a quiet gentleman. My thoughts are with his family. Sleep tight Derek. xxx

James Starzacher: What a shock. Remember Derek very well. Lovely guy and very sad news.

Matthew James: So very very tragic and sad – a wonderful man with a beautiful family. My heart goes out to them all at this truly difficult time. RIP Derek xx

Louise Reilly: My wonderful friend. A true gentleman. Loved by everyone that knew him. Can’t believe he is gone.

Simon Edmonds: No way! Can’t believe that, such a nice chap. RIP.

Steve Faulkner: Worked with Derek on and off over several years. Really nice guy. So sad to hear. My thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.

Mark Jones: Derek was such a nice guy, always with a smile and a kind word.

Steve Alison: Really nice bloke. Pleasure to have known him.

Mark Wilson: Derek was a lovely guy, always full of fun. Terrible thing to happen and thoughts go out to his family.

He was the father of two children – Michael, and Laura.

Flowers and messages have been laid at the end of the road where Mr Bernstein was hit by the car, including a West Ham football supporter’s scarf.

A post-mortem, which took place at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, determined he died of multiple injuries.

Police are appealing for information about a black BMW 3 Series coupé which was seen on CCTV driving with two other cars around Hornchurch town centre shortly before the collision.

Detectives are urgently requesting the driver comes forward.

It is believed the BMW was stolen from the Hornchurch area on Wednesday, July 15 and has been driven on false “57” number plates since then.

Police would also like to speak with anyone who has information about the car, or who may know someone who has recently started driving a BMW that matches the description.

Detectives from the serious collision investigation unit at Chadwell Heath Traffic Garage are investigating and would like to speak with anyone who has information about the car or the collision.

Inquiries, including a review of local CCTV footage, continue. No arrests have been made at this stage of the investigation.

Any witnesses should contact police on 020 8597 4874 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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