TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular and talented musician who died after a car crashed into a building.

A white Nissan Qashqai smashed into a covered smoking area outside the front of The Spinnaker pub, in Hythe Quay, Colchester, at about 12.50am on Sunday.

Tragically, a 36-year-old man was killed in the collision.

The man has been named locally as Stuart McClung, a guitarist for the popular reggae band New Town Kings.

The eight-piece band formed in 2006 and have gone on to become one of Colchester’s most celebrated musical acts.

Ian Armstrong, of the band’s promoters Hidden Talent Booking, said: “Stuart was a nice man, we got on well but I didn’t know him outside the group. I’m sure the band are in shock right now.”

Friend Chris Hease called Mr McClung his "hero".

He said: “We’ve all known each other for 20 years or so, grown up going out together. 

“Stuart was king of the jungle - and he was a New Town King, so a king in more than one way. 

“He’s going to be massively missed as the band have a very big following - they’ve toured nationally and internationally. 

"I saw him a couple of weeks ago and we were talking about making some music again and how we’d not hung out for ages. 

“I thought I would come down here and speak to his spirit. I’m bigging him up and celebrating his life - his wake is going to be something else, people are really going to  celebrate his life,” he said. 

Carer Mr Hease, 40, said it was hard to take in that his friend had died in the horror smash which also injured three others. 

“It’s not real until you bring the flowers here and see the scene. 

“He was such a lovely guy, for me it’s about celebrating his life. 

“It’s so sad that he’s gone. He was such a good guy - he was a gentle giant, a gentleman, the life of the party, really funny, lovely warm guy. 

"He would never brush you off, he always had time for you. 

“He was always in good spirits, it’s always the good ones that go. The spirit realm has gained a soldier."

The Spinnaker landlord Rod Isbister posted a statement on the pub’s Facebook page thanking the community for their support after what had been a “very dark day”.

He said: “A massive thank you for all the support we have received today from family, friends and our awesome Spinnaker regulars.

“You have helped Bridget and I get through a very dark day.

“We are devastated that a wonderful talented young man has lost his life through no fault of his own and pass on our condolences to his family, girlfriend and friends.”

Two men, 33 and 34, as well as a 34-year-old woman were also injured in the crash.

The men have been named locally as Ian Winter, 34, and Carl Joyner, 33.

It is understood Mr Winter suffered life-changing injuries to his legs and hips in the incident.

He is being treated at Addenbrooks Hospital, Cambridge, after being airlifted to hospital from the scene.

Mr Joyner is understood to have suffered less severe injuries and is being treated at Colchester Hospital.

Mr Isbister’s statement continued: “We so hope our amazing, courageous friend Ian can battle his injuries and come back to us and Carl, be strong you were both amazing in the face of such devastation.”

The Spinnaker remained closed yesterday with contractors at the scene assessing the damage to the property.

In his statement, Mr Isbister praised the hard work of the emergency services.

He said: “Something early this morning put the great back in Great Britain for me and that was the amazing professionalism of our emergency services.Your efforts will never be forgotten.

“We will be closed for some time to rectify the structural and interior damage. Thank you all, love Rod and Bridget.”

Detectives are continuing to investigate the incident.


Police have launched a murder investigation and a 40-yearold man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, death by dangerous driving and assault.

He remains in custody.

Witnesses told how they saw at least seven ambulances and an air ambulance arrive at the pub shortly after the crash.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service also sent three crews, from Colchester and Wivenhoe, to the scene.

Hythe Quay was closed for more than seven hours and was reopened at around 9am.

On Monday, flower and candles tributes to the man who died were laid at the scene.

Essex Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the incident to come forward.

A spokesman said: “We would like to speak to any who saw a white Nissan Qashqai in the area before the incident took place and anyone who was in the pub at the time and has yet to speak to officers.

“If you have any information about the incident, dash cam or mobile phone footage please call us on 101 quoting incident 63 of 3 November or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”