STUDENTS and staff at a Coventry college have raised funds for the family of much-loved Ryan Oakes who was tragically killed following a collision with a car.
Ryan Oakes, 17, was cycling in Binley Road at the junction with Hipswell Highway at around 7.15pm on Friday (October 5) when he was hit.
Ryan was a trainee electrician studying at Coventry College and as a show of support to his family, students and staff were asked to wear a hat for the day as a tribute to the teenager.
They also made donations to a JustGiving campaign which has already exceeded its target and raised nearly £3,000.
More than £4,000 has been raised for the family in total since Ryan’s death, after a further fundraising push by friend Rowan Simpson, 18, raised £1,250.
Kelly Greevy, head of construction at Coventry College, said: “We wanted to show our solidarity and support for the family and thought that wear a hat day would be a nice way of doing that.
“He would always wear a hat to class and I had to constantly remind him that it wasn’t allowed.
“He had a cheeky smile and you know he was just pushing his luck in a fun way by wearing it to make people laugh.
“I thought putting on a hat for the day would be a good show of solidarity.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time and we hope this gesture can contribute towards supporting them.”
Ryan’s friends at the college were based in reception on Monday morning to help collect the donations.
Close friends Rowan, from Stoke and Louis Burns, 17, from Wyken, led the organisation of the fundraising efforts and are planning more across the city.
Rowan said: “We were very close and I remember telling him just a few weeks ago that I would always have his back.
“It has been sad coming to college since he has gone, he was a funny and kind person who was full of life.
“Today has been a bit better because everyone has come together for a good cause, it feels like there is a good vibe in the air.
“We are proud to be able to say we are helping his family, he was a good friend to me.”
A statement from the Oakes family said: “He was a kind hearted, happy, selfless young man who always had a cheeky smile.
“Ryan loved his BMX and playing the guitar.
“He was everything you could wish for in a son, grandson, brother and friend and we will miss him more than words can express, as will everyone who knew him.”
Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision involving a Nissan GT-R.
The driver of the car – a 36-year-old man – stopped at the scene and provided a negative breath test.
He was not arrested and assisted police with enquiries.
You can donate to the Oakes family by visiting www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/claire-phillips-3 or www.facebook.com/donate/1988866241405199/1032964996864545/