THE borough’s Muslim community has rallied together to raise thousands of pounds to cover the cost of the funeral for the man killed by a lorry in Quarry Bank.
Sartaj Aziz, aged 26, from Stourbridge, was hit by a HGV in Thorns Road just after 3.30pm on Tuesday August 20.
Police believe he was involved in a dispute with another man at a hand car wash in the road moments before the collision.
Shocked by the tragedy, Lye councillor Mohammed Hanif said the borough’s Muslim community had donated money to pay for the funeral of the father-of-two, known as Taj, as his only close relative living locally is his mother who has been left utterly distraught.
Cllr Hanif said: “A number of people in Stourbridge, Dudley and Halesowen have been collecting funds so a substantial sum has been raised.”
Usman Khan, a friend of Sartaj’s, said: “All the community is shocked, we can't believe what has happened.
“It’s tragic. He was such a good kind person, he had a good heart, didn't say a bad word to anyone.
“He looked after his sick mother - he was very close to her, she lived for him. It’s so sad.
“The fundraising people are doing for him is very good, as it costs around about £3,500 pounds for an Islamic funeral - and he’s got no family apart from his mother to cover the costs.”
Islamic funerals are usually carried out within 24 hours but cllr Hanif said this was “exceptional circumstances” and a date for the service could not be confirmed until a second post mortem has been carried out.
He praised those who had donated and said the service would likely be held at Ghausia Mosque in Lye, followed by a burial at Brierley Hill Cemetery.
Naseer Ahmed, owner of Stourbridge-based ABM Taxis, was one of many who has been helping to raise money for the funeral.
He said he had known Mr Aziz for 12 years and had employed him in the control room for around four years.
Mr Ahmed said they had kept in touch after he left and added: “He was a good, kind-hearted young man. He has left an empty space in many people’s hearts. I still can’t believe it, the drivers are all in shock.”
A Facebook tribute page has also been set up by friends of Mr Aziz.
Kaynat Ahmed wrote: “Taj u will never be forgotten , we all miss u and love u” and Atiya Nasreen added: “R.I.P Taj u will be missed.”
Nas Amir added: “Sad news top lad he was.”
A 27-year-old Brierley Hill man appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on Saturday (August 24) charged with manslaughter.
Garret Fitzpatrick did not enter a plea to the charge and was remanded in custody to appear before Wolverhampton Crown Court tomorrow (Friday August 30).
A 21-year-old man, arrested in Quarry Bank on Wednesday (August 21), has been released without charge.
Anyone who would like to donate to Taj’s funeral fund can contact cllr Hanif on 01384 375998.