Tributes paid to 'one-in-a-billion father' and Star journalist killed days before birthday

Tributes have been pouring in for a “one in a billion, wonderful, kind and loving” family man who was tragically killed in a road accident.

James Driver-Fisher died days before his 38th birthday
James Driver-Fisher died days before his 38th birthday

James Driver-Fisher, who would have turned 38 today, died after he was hit by two cars on Saltwells Road in Netherton, Dudley.

James lived in Netherton and was a journalist for the Midland News Association, publishers of the Express & Star and Shropshire Star, based in Wolverhampton. He leaves behind wife Kelly, 40, and daughter Annabelle, seven.

His devastated family, including his mother Nadine, sister Hannah and brother Thomas, have paid tribute to him, telling the Star he was “everything and more”.

Kelly said: “He truly was the kindest most loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle, cousin, brother-in-law, son-in-law and friend. The great are taken young and he was the best. I will love him for the rest of my days.”

James started with the Midland News Association (MNA) as a reporter on the Bridgnorth Journal in 2007, going on to be a sub editor and latterly a content manager for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star and their sister weekly newspapers.

He was a regular contributor to the entertainment pages and also to the sports pages thanks to his love of motorcycling. He was an avid Aston Villa fan and penned two books about his team as well as one on motorsport.

Kelly added: “Losing James will affect so many people and whilst I’m sorry for our loss, I’m sorry for everyone else’s loss too.”

Tributes left to James Driver-Fisher in Saltwells Road, Netherton

His mother, sister and brother added: “James had a heart of gold, was always the life of the party, and loved his family more than anything.”

He ran marathons to raise money for the John Taylor Hospice in Birmingham, which cared for his late father David, who died when James was only 23.

“Every year he raised money for everyone else. It is the epitome of who he was,” they said.

“Things aren’t going to be the same without him. After the death of his father, James took on the role of patriarch of the family.

“He was an amazing, caring, loving, and funny man who always had time for anyone. James was a fierce and loyal friend, who was funny, outgoing and talented. He was one in a billion. Never have we ever felt pain like this. Our hearts ache to never see your face, hear your laugh and be sarcastically ridiculed by you ever again.

“You were everything and more. All you ever wanted was family. To have your own and to be around them. You created a family of friends who idolise you. You are so much to every one of us and life will truly never be the same without you. We love you always and forever. Our hero, our idol, our brother, our friend.”

James, pictured in his days as a Bridgnorth reporter, was a regular food reviewer

MNA Editor-in-chief Martin Wright said: “We are all devastated to hear of James’s sudden death. James will be sorely missed for his humour and his unflappable demeanour in the newsroom. He was a conscientious and dedicated member of our team, not to mention a very talented journalist.

“Above all, he was a thoughtful and caring human being, which made him so popular with all of his colleagues.

“Our thoughts are with James’s family at this exceptionally difficult time.”

Flowers and tributes have been left at the scene of the crash near the junction with Cradley Road.

Police said it was understood James had been walking down the road before he was hit by two separate vehicles at about 12.40am on Sunday. The drivers of both cars stayed at the scene to help police with their inquiries and no arrests have been made.

Police inquiries continue and anyone with information – including dash cam or CCTV footage – is asked to call 101 anytime quoting log number 117 of 31/10/21.

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