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Family tributes to hit-and-run boy

PUBLISHED: 11:45 01 September 2003 | UPDATED: 14:20 03 March 2010

A GRIEVING mother paid tribute today to her "special" son who died following a hit-and-run accident while on holiday with friends.

Marc Downing, from Ipswich, died in hospital on Saturday morning after earlier being struck by a car outside a campsite near Newquay in Cornwall.

A GRIEVING mother paid tribute today to her "special" son who died following a hit-and-run accident while on holiday with friends.

Marc Downing, from Ipswich, died in hospital on Saturday morning after earlier being struck by a car outside a campsite near Newquay in Cornwall.

Mother Denise Downing yesterday told of her shock and sorrow at learning of the 22-year-old's death.

She said Mr Downing had travelled to Newquay with two friends, Rod and Dan, and had been walking with Rod at about 4am when the collision happened.

"They were just walking back to their tent about 200 yards away. This car came past them, followed by a taxi, and that was when Rod saw Marc lying in the road in the taxi's headlights," added Mrs Downing.

Her son, a former pupil at Westbourne High School in Ipswich, was taken to hospital suffering from serious injuries, but died at about 5am. A post-mortem examination will be carried out today.

"We just keep expecting him to walk in," said Mrs Downing, of Kitchener Road, who has two other sons – Asa, 20, and Ryan, 19.

"We are in a state of numbness. There are so many questions we want to get answers to, but we can't. At the moment it all seems so far away – I can't even explain what I'm feeling."

Mr Downing worked with his father James – who is separated from Mrs Downing – at Brickdoctors in Great Blakenham.

But he had three great passions in his life, according to his mother – music, football and art.

"He was saving up to travel to Brazil because he loved the music out there. He loved it in Newquay as well – he was so laid back and he really enjoyed life down there.

"The only comfort we have is knowing that he was somewhere that he loved and, the night before, he was playing bongos on the beach and making new friends – knowing him, he would have thought that was perfect."

Mrs Downing added: "Marc just loved life. He was a very popular person with loads of friends and nothing seemed to faze him – I don't think he ever had a bad word to say about anybody.

"He had a fantastic group of friends and they have all said to us how dearly they are going to miss him. He told us that he had a great family and a great life, and that's all he wanted.

"The whole family is very close and we are all just totally devastated – he was such a special person and he made such an impact on everybody's life."

Mr Downing was fatally struck by the car on the A3075 outside the Rosecliston Holiday Park, near Newquay.

The area between Scotland Road and Trevemper Road was closed for 10 hours while police carried out an investigation. Traffic from Newquay was diverted along a 12-mile route, causing major delays in the area.

A black Ford Escort car was later found by a member of the public abandoned on farmland near St Newlyn East and Devon and Cornwall police officers have been carrying out a detailed forensic examination on the vehicle.

n A 24-year-old woman from Redruth was arrested in connection with Mr Downing's death and was released yesterday on bail pending further inquiries.

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