FAMILY and friends have paid tribute to a “kind, caring, sensitive” man who died in a suspected hit and run just days before Christmas.

Floral tributes were left at the scene of the crash in Charlton Road, Andover, after the victim was named locally as 38-year-old Jimmy Smith.

And police have now confirmed his identity, formally naming the victim as James Stephen Smith, 38, of Pilgrims Way, Andover.

He was pronounced dead after the collision with a Jaguar on Charlton Road around 6.40pm on Monday, December 23.

In statement shared with police, the family have paid tribute to him.

They said: “A father, son, brother, uncle and a friend.

“You will be sadly missed by all that truly knew you. A kind, caring, sensitive and beautiful boy.

“We will love you forever and always.”

Loved ones have also taken to social media, saying they hoped he would rest in peace with many appealing to the driver of the vehicle to come forward.

One person wrote: “So sad to hear Jimmy has died. He was so, so lovely. Hadn’t seen him since school days. Far too young to be gone, RIP.”

Another added: “This is so sad. I went to school with Jimmy, haven’t seen him in some time. I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss. I’m so gutted for you all.”

Town councillors have also expressed their shock and sadness about the incident happening so close to the festive period.

Councillor Adam Buckenham told the Advertiser: “I think it’s a travesty, especially so close to Christmas. It must be a very difficult time for them, and my heart really goes out to the family.

“But I definitely think the police could have been more open with the residents of Andover as they were quite rightly shocked about the incident and I think they could have done more to help the situation.”

Deputy town mayor Cllr Lauren Banville was one of many to leave tributes at the scene of the incident.

She said: “We are so very sorry for your loss. Rest in peace young man, in our prayers and thoughts.”

Another message added: “Rest in peace. Heaven has gained an angel. Going to be missed so much, will miss seeing your around town.”

The 38-year-old victim was struck by a car, now believed to be a Jaguar XR, on Charlton Road and pronounced dead at the scene, despite best efforts.

A 59-year-old man and a 58-year-old woman, both from Andover, have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.

Both have since been released as enquiries continue.

Police say that enquiries into the exact circumstances of the collision are ongoing and officers investigating are still keen to speak with anyone who witnessed it.

Drivers with dash cam footage that could have captured the vehicle or the collision, or anyone who might have seen a damaged Jaguar driving in Andover, is advised to contact the police on 101, quoting 44190460421.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.