Update: Devastated family pays tribute after UEA student dies in bus stop crash tragedy
16:30 02 June 2014
The devastated family of a University of East Anglia student who died when a car ploughed into a bus stop have led tributes to a young woman who “lived life to the full”.
Rebecca McManus, a 21-year-old UEA English Literature with Creative Writing student, was one of two women hit by a car which crashed into them at Birmingham on Saturday night.
The flag at the UEA, where Miss McManus was about to finish a three-year degree will be lowered on Wednesday, while her fellow student have been offered support.
A 32-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of death by dangerous driving, with the second woman who was hit, also aged 21, in a critical condition in hospital.
The family of Miss McManus, who was from Oldbury, near Birmingham, paid tribute to her, as specialist police officers continued to liaise with them following the tragedy.
In a statement released through West Midlands Police, they said: “Rebecca lived life to the full; she was bright and funny with a wonderful future to look forward to. We are totally devastated by her loss.”
Prof Peter Womack, head of the UEA’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, said: “She was an exploring, adventurous poet, and an active and popular member of the creative writing group and the wider LDC community.
“She was a truly lovely young woman, serious but humorous, thoughtful but quirky, committed to writing and thinking but able to have a giggle in the LCR.
“Her death is an irreplaceable loss, and she will be much missed by those who studied with her and by those who taught her.”
Fellow UEA students posted messages on Twitter speaking of their shock at the death of Miss McManus.
English Literature student Fern Richards tweeted: “Rebecca McManus was always there, and now she isn’t. She wrote poems about the sky. My thoughts are with her friends and family.”
And history student Connor Rand posted: “Terrible and shocking news about Rebecca McManus. Know she was a special peron to so many friends, thoughts with them and her family x #RIP”
Officers were called to Hagley Road West in Birmingham just before 7.50pm on Saturday. Miss McManus was treated by medical staff but, despite their best efforts she died at the scene.
Sergeant Paul Hughes from the force’s collision investigation unit urged witnesses to come forward.
He said: “This is a tragic incident which has left a young member of the local community dead and another critically ill in hospital.
“I have been overwhelmed by the number of witnesses that have come forward so far but continue to appeal for the public’s help.
“I know the vehicle involved, a red Mitsubishi, travelled along the A4123 Wolverhampton Road before turning onto Hagley Road West, and may have been travelling with another dark-coloured vehicle, possibly a BMW.
“If anyone saw these vehicles then I would ask them to contact me or my team. It’s important for the investigation and the families that we piece together all the events and I can only do this with the public’s help.”
The man who was arrested continues to help police with their enquiries.
Anyone with information should contact West Midlands Police’s collision investigation unit on 101 or alternatively they can leave information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers, the independent charity, on 0800 555 111.