Man who died in crash on East Lancs Road was 'military hero'

Florin Solomon appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Florin Solomon appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man who died in a serious crash on the A580 East Lancashire Road has been hailed a "military hero".

Mark Byrne MBE was fatally injured when the Toyota Corolla he was driving was involved in a collision with a lorry at the junction with Atherleigh Way in Leigh at 10.20am on Tuesday.

Police, paramedics and firefighters attended, but the 58-year-old could not be saved and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

His wife Julie Byrne, 56, was a passenger in the car and was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

She suffered a fractured sternum and police said she remained in hospital last night.

Lorry driver Florin Solomon, 28, was arrested and appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court yesterday accused of causing death and serious injury by driving a Scania HGV dangerously.

The Romanian national, who had dark hair and a beard and wore a blue hooded top in the dock, was not asked to enter pleas to the charges.

Steve Woodman, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Byrne had served in the military for 25 years.

"A military hero by all accounts," he said.

He said Mrs Byrne had to stay in the car for nearly an hour after the crash while firefighters worked to cut her husband out of the vehicle.

Mr Woodman said: "You can imagine what a traumatic event that must have been for her and will be for years to come."

Rebecca Caulfield, defending Solomon, said: "He hasn't eaten or drank or even had a drink of water at the police station. He is in a harrowing state of shock."

The case was committed to Bolton Crown Court due to the seriousness of the charges.

Solomon, of Lansdowne Walk, Worcester, was remanded in custody until a hearing on Wednesday, February 19.