THE first of four funerals for the young men who lost their lives in a fatal car crash in Derry Hill is tomorrow.

Ryan Nelson’s family have arranged for the funeral cortege to drive through Calne to allow people to pay their respects.

It will pass Calne Town Hall at 2pm and will drive towards Tesco, where Ryan worked, via the bypass.

Tesco will be closed to allow staff and customers who knew Ryan to pay their respects.

His family have urged people to ensure they are adhering to social distancing and do not gather in groups of more than six.

But they will not be playing any of his home produced drum’n’bass music outside the Town Hall as they had wished for fear it might generate crowds.

In a family tribute they all said: “Ryan, our ray of sunshine. He lightened up everyone’s life, a truly wonderful gentleman, so polite with lovely morals. Ryan worked in Tesco. He loved it there as he was with his friends. He was a massive football fan. He was a very talented DJ, it was something he wished to pursue in the future.

“Ryan was loved by everyone. He has the most beautiful soul. So handsome, he loved all his designer gear, had so much pride.

“Our lives are empty without him. Our precious, precious boy.”

There will be a celebration of Ryan’s life after the service at Swindon Crematorium, but this is by invitation only to ensure it can be held safely at a Covid-secure venue.

Inspector James Brain, from the Chippenham Area Community Policing Team, said the police and the local authority had been working closely with the family to allow them to celebrate Ryan’s life in as safe a way as possible.

He said: “We completely understand that those who knew and loved Ryan want to be able to come together to remember him and pay their last respects.

“However, his family have made it clear that they want to be able to do this in a safe way. The town will see four funerals over the coming weeks, and I know this period of mourning will be very difficult for those having to say goodbye to much-loved sons, brothers and friends.

“However, the last thing anyone wants is for this to lead to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the town, so I would urge everyone – particularly young people in Calne – to be mindful of social distancing and the current Government restrictions.”

Calne’s Mayor and family friend to Ryan’s family, Cllr Robert Merrick said he had been in close contact with them, and that they were holding up ‘surprisingly well.’

“It is still early days and we have four funerals ahead of us. The grieving is only just beginning.”

He said books of condolences had been signed, including by the victims’s families, and that they would be presented to the families in a private ceremony after the funerals.

Ryan, 20, Corey Owen, 19, Matthew Parke, 19, and Jordan Rawlings, 20, died at the scene following a collision on the A4 at Derry Hill, near Calne, at 3am on Sunday morning of August 16, and the investigation into the cause of the crash continues.

Terence Herbert, chief executive at Wiltshire Council, said: “Understandably family and friends want to celebrate their lives.

"We are working closely with colleagues at the police to support them to do so safely. ”

For donations in Ryan’s memory, his family have chosen Wiltshire Air Ambulance, and these can be given c/o Johnson and Daltrey Independent Funeral Directors, in Calne on 01249 821200.

“The grieving is only just beginning”