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Lanterns will pay tribute to stolen vehicle crash victim

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

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FRIENDS of a man who died at the wheel of a stolen car will light lanterns in his memory.

Andrew Williams, of Clase, was killed in the crash in Ystradgynlais on Saturday morning.

His death has divided the city, with those who knew him paying tribute to a good man who didn't deserve to lose his life, while others have condemned his actions.

Joanne Crocker, 30, who has known Mr Williams since she was a baby, said his family and friends were devastated by the comments, saying the news and circumstances of his death were a "shock".

"He was a lovely person and he was loved by everybody," she said. "It was a big shock. He always worked. He was a hard-working person from when he left school.

"He would do whatever he could get work doing — he didn't mind what he did. He most recently worked as a ground worker in construction, working on drainage."

Asked whether he had been in trouble before Miss Crocker said: "What boy doesn't get into trouble?

"I just want to say something nice about the Andrew we all knew. People are painting him as a bad person.

"I understand the vehicle was stolen and I understand it's wrong — I'm not condoning it — but for him to lose his life (that's not right)."

Lanterns and balloons will be released in memory of the 29-year-old Swans fan at 6pm on Saturday from Beaconsview Road, Clase.

"Friends are getting together where we used to get together," Miss Crocker added. "I imagine there will be lots of people there going by the number of comments left on his Facebook page.

"That shows how well liked he was. I think it will be friends and family there. I think his mum will be there if she's up to it, and his brother and dad."

Opinion on the Evening Post website has also divided readers.

Jiffy wrote: "I feel very sorry for the person who's suffered the loss of their car."

Taweformation commented: "I feel sorry for his family to have to endure his passing! But play with fire and get burned. Stay away from the upper valley we don't need this nonsense up here. He took the outcome!"

But others have jumped to Mr Williams's defence.

Writing on the site, xsxammyx said: "So quick to judge, you don't know Andrew so have a little respect. His friends and family don't want to read them comments how would you feel if it was a member of your family, or a friend, Andrew was a decent loyal friend and loved by all his friends. Everyone makes mistakes!"

However, Cazanne wrote: "That's not a mistake I'm sorry."

And Chelsea said: "At least it was only himself he killed, sad to say another life wasted and we all feel for the family for another son lost before his time, hopefully some kids out there may learn by this boys mistake ... if the courts gave proper sentences it would reduce offences and maybe save a life."

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  • godisalie  |  January 01 2013, 1:43AM

    Cresswell1, No there isn't a god.

  • Walesforever  |  December 31 2012, 10:44PM

    Dear God !! A car thief gets killed, and people spring to his defence. Anyone at all concerned with the person the car belonged to. And to what it's going to cost them. ????????? The only good thing is he didn't kill anyone else.

  • Philosoraptor  |  December 31 2012, 10:43PM

    You mean like setting off lanterns at the scrapyard where the car now lays? I bet that would make the news!

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  • Rosemary1959  |  December 31 2012, 10:13PM

    I read all the reports and comments - FIRSTLY - poor boy - HE WAS NOT A BOY - he was not some young teenager led astray - he was about 29 years old. HE WAS A MAN - quite capable of knowing and deciding what was wrong! SECONDLY - feel for his family - did they ever feel for the others he stole from? did they ever feel for the families he touched with his drug dealings? Did they ever feel for those who despite limited income themselves still live respectable moral lives. Thirdly, this is not just about a stolen bit of metal - a car is someones means of livelihood, a symbol of their HARD work! Stealing that bit of metal means an increase in insurance, a feeling of insecurity FOREVER looking over your shoulder, checking and rechecking have I locked the car or whatever else these wretched scumbags have touched. What about rallying around and symbolically lighting a lantern for those who have been victims of the likes of this MAN.

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  • Philosoraptor  |  December 31 2012, 9:18PM

    Is the evening post playing on this bout of bickering?

  • skewenboy  |  December 31 2012, 4:26PM

    Good riddance.

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  • tomitma  |  December 31 2012, 4:26PM

    I have noticed that two of my posts, and a few posts that other people have made, have dissapeared, obviously there have been complaints made about the postings. IT REALLY DOES NOT BOTHER ME, THE PEOPLE THAT MATTER, ARE THE PEOPLE WHO'S LIVES HAVE BEEN HURT, SOMETIMES DESTROYED BY THIS PERSON. MANY OF US KNOW THE TRUTH. It looks like the truth hurts to some people, but you can never hide truth. You can lie to yourself, and other people but the truth will always out, by the way are we allowed to release lanterns at the church on the day of the funeral.

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  • nice_nails  |  December 31 2012, 2:59PM

    I had my poly tunnels destroyed by the bloody lanterns, they're as bad as joyriders

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  • brochadav  |  December 31 2012, 11:28AM

    DR conker, I was disciplined when I needed it, it didn't turn me into a criminal, I'm happily married with children. And FAO lookb4uleap, I don't know how you definite someone's character, but the very fact this person stole and did drugs tells decent people all we need to know about him. If Tomitma has told the truth then he wasn't a good or nice person so why does he deserve praise. I'm no angel, I've had skirmishes with the police, once for defending my property from a hooligan. I don't really need to cast the first stone, I've never stolen someone else's property, done drugs or beaten someone up (except in self defence) but this person died breaking the law, sympathy to his parents but no sympathy for the deceased. As I said previously, if he hadn't stolen the car he may still be alive.

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  • willy88  |  December 31 2012, 11:14AM

    At the end of the day he was a thief and ruined so many lives by his actions. If the family want to remember him then do something in private and not broadcast his foolish death by sending lanterns into the sky - we, the general public don't want to remember a criminal

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