'Ethan touched the lives of everyone': Family's emotional tribute to teen
- Credit: The Wright family
A family has paid heartfelt tributes to a teenager who "touched the lives of everyone he met during his short but wonderful life."
The parents and younger brother of Ethan Wright have paid touching tributes to the 16-year-old who died after a cycle crash with a van last week.
They said that the widespread outpouring of grief within the Lowestoft community "is testament to the beautiful soul we have all lost."
Popular teenager Ethan died at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge last Thursday, November 18 after he had been involved in a collision with a white van on Higher Drive, just off an alleyway opposite the Woods Loke West junction in Lowestoft, last Wednesday morning.
A GoFundMe page, entitled Memorial for Ethan Wright, was set up on Sunday - just hours after Suffolk police had confirmed his death on Saturday evening - as it aimed to raise £4,000 to "help cover the costs of Ethan's memorial".
And showing the strength of feeling within the community for the much-loved teenager, as of Thursday afternoon a remarkable 586 donations had been made with £13,037 raised - well over trebling the £4,000 target.
Ethan’s parents Gavin and Jenni Wright, and younger brother Jack, 12, hailed the "phenomenal" response to the fundraiser that was set up by the teen's football coach at Waveney FC, Shaun Miller.
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The family said: "As I’m sure you can all imagine the tragic passing of our beloved son and brother is beyond comprehension.
"All families are aware how amazing their children and siblings are, and how much they mean to one another.
"The widespread outpouring of grief among our community is testament to the beautiful soul we have all lost.
"Many have said to us there are no words, and this is true.
"However, we have found comfort in the many tributes and heartfelt condolences offered by so many."
They added: "It is clear to us that Ethan touched the lives of everyone he met during his short but wonderful life, we hope he rests aware of the impression he made."
Praising the support that they have received, as well as the many goodwill messages over the past week, the family said: "We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who cared for Ethan and supported us through his final hours at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
"We would also like to thank everyone for the flowers and cards delivered to ourselves and laid at the scene of the accident.
"The response to the GoFundMe collection raising funds for Ethan’s memorial has been staggering, a reflection of the incredible young man we all know and love
"Thanks to all for the kind messages and contributions.
"Finally, we must state the support from family, friends the local and football community has been a source of much needed strength to us."
With dozens of flowers left at the scene of the crash this week, family and friends have left floral tributes and messages to the popular and "well respected" teenager from Lowestoft.
A former Gunton Primary Academy and Benjamin Britten Academy of Music and Mathematics student, Ethan was studying for A Levels in maths, economics and chemistry at Lowestoft Sixth Form College.
Mr Wright added that with the memorial funds raised, the family were looking to unveil a bench in Ethan's memory, or present "a cup with his name on" via Waveney FC in the future.
Players and officials from across Waveney FC had lined up to honour the popular teenager as a minute's applause was observed at matches across Lowestoft, East Suffolk and Norfolk over the weekend.
A former paperboy who sometimes worked behind the shop counter at Rawmores - the former Village Rise Newsagents store - in Lowestoft, touching tributes have been paid by his former bosses and the collective Village Rise shopping precinct - who described him as a "lovely lad" who was a "credit to all".
Among the numerous tributes was one from the former owner of Village Rise Newsagents, Wendy O'Dwyer, who said: "Such a cheerful young man with a bright future ahead of him , always told me to 'have a good day' when leaving the shop.
"I’ll think of his smile every time I hear those words."
The family said that ahead of the funeral service, donations in memory of Ethan could be made to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.