Family and friends pay tribute to two men who died in Ickleford crash

Tributes have been left at the scene of the crash in Arlesey Road, Ickleford

Tributes have been left at the scene of the crash in Arlesey Road, Ickleford - Credit: Archant

Family and friends have paid tribute to two men who died in a car crash at the weekend.

John-James McErlean and Sean James Doherty, both 27, died during the early hours of Sunday morning after the blue BMW they were travelling in collided with a tree on Arlesey Road in Ickleford.

Mr Doherty – who was a father to twins Logan and Ruby Mai, both aged two years old – lost his dad Neil earlier this year.

He lived in the Westmill area of Hitchin and was a former student at the nearby The Priory School.

A statement from his family said: “No words can describe the pain we feel. We know you’re safe and reunited with Neil.

You will always live on through Logan and Ruby Mai. We miss you so much and love you truly.”

Friend Mr McErlean lived in Stotfold and was a former pupil at The John Henry Newman School in Stevenage.

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His family said: “We are devastated by the sudden loss of our son, brother and friend, John-James McErlean. We thank everybody for their support and thoughts at this dreadful time.

“Our hearts go out to the family of Sean Doherty. Friends in life, together in death. They will both be missed.”

A Facebook group has been set up in memory of the two men, where those who knew them have been leaving tributes and messages for their families.

A memorial football match will also be held on Sunday to help raise money for a trust fund for Mr Doherty’s two children.

The match has been organised by a friend of Mr Doherty and Mr McErlean, Jay Norris.

Mr Norris, 35, said: “I have known Sean for the past 15 years and John James for the past 10. They were both great guys and will be missed massively. The match is something that us friends thought of to help ease the financial burden for the family in times ahead.”

The football match will be held at Hitchin Football Club and kick off will be at 12.30pm.

The entrance fee for spectators is £10 and £20 for players.

Police have launched a witness appeal following the crash, which occurred at around 2.45am.

Firefighters used cutting equipment to free the men, but both were declared dead at the scene.

Collision investigator PC Andy Ralph, from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Road policing unit, said: “I would like to speak to anyone who saw this incident or who believes they may have seen it in the time leading up to the collision.

“I would urge anyone with information to contact me on the police non-emergency number 101.”

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