Tributes to two teenagers killed as a car ploughed into a crowd at suspected cruising event in Oldbury
Liberty Charris, 16, and Ben Corifled, 19, died when a car mowed down several people in Oldbury, West Midlands, on Sunday night
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Tributes have been paid to two teenagers who were killed when a vehicle ploughed into a crowd of people at a suspected car cruising event.
Liberty Charris, 16, and Ben Corfield, 19, died when a blue Nissan Skyline mowed down several people in Oldbury, on Sunday night (November 20).
Emergency services rushed to the A457 Oldbury Road at 11.30pm but the pair were pronounced dead at the scene despite the efforts of medics.
A man and woman, aged in their 20s, were also injured and taken to hospital where they remain in a stable condition today (Tuesday, November 22).
A 54-year-old was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has since been released on police bail while enquiries continue.
It is believed the crowds had gathered to watch an illegal car meet event, which had been organised on Snapchat, when the horror crash occurred.
The heartbroken families of Liberty and Ben have now paid moving tributes to both teenagers in statements issued by police. Liberty’s family said: "Liberty, our beautiful baby girl and sister. "So loved by her family and friends, they were all so proud of the gorgeous young lady you were becoming.
"With your heart of gold, bright blue eyes and beaming smile, your aim in life was to make everyone happy, with your funny accents and loud laugh.
"From the moment you were born we were all so in love with you, you loved life and had an amazing future ahead of you. Our hearts are shattered into pieces. Shine bright up there our beautiful girl."
Ben’s family said: "What can we say other than Ben was the light of our lives. He was a larger than life character with a huge heart that was made of gold.
"Nothing will ever heal the massive hole in our lives – our hearts are broken forever. We waited so long for Ben to come along and complete our family, and we feel privileged to have had him as our son and brother for the last 19 years. Ben, we love you so very much, always and forever. Rest in eternal peace, our boy!"
Specialist liaison officers are offering support to the families of Liberty and Ben while investigations continue. Detective Sergeant Paul Hughes, from West Midlands Police, said: "Whilst our hearts and thoughts are with the families of these young people, our focus remains on establishing the full circumstances of the incident.
“Our investigations will be extensive and thorough and we’d like to thank everyone who has spoken to us and passed on information already.
“But we know there were a lot of people gathered in the area at the time and we’d ask anyone else with dashcam footage or any other witnesses to contact us."
Residents living nearby revealed the area is notorious for illegal car cruising, where drivers show off their new motors by racing them in front of a crowd of onlookers.
One local said: “The road is a magnet for car cruising because it’s a very long, mostly straight road and they really get some speed up.
“It’s an absolute tragedy to find out what’s happened. I think the police, as stretched as they are, really need to try and do more to clamp down on it before more people are killed.”
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said previously: “On arrival crews discovered five patients. The first and second were a man and a teenage girl, who were pedestrians, in a critical condition.
“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of ambulance staff it became clear that nothing more could be done to save them and they were confirmed deceased at the scene.
“Two more pedestrians, a woman and a man had sustained life-threatening injuries. They received advanced trauma care from ambulance staff at the scene and en route to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“The fifth, the driver of the car was assessed by ambulance staff at the scene. He had sustained non-life threatening injuries and was discharged at the scene.”