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The family of a man found with fatal stab wounds in a crashed car have paid tribute to a “much-loved son and only child” as police launch a murder probe.

Richard Hopley, 43, was found in a car which had crashed in Metchley Lane, in Birmingham, just after 3pm on Thursday.

Paramedics tried desperately to save Richard but he died in spite of their efforts after he was transported to hospital.

His parents have said he was “a much loved son and only child, dearly loved by his Mum and Dad.

“We are absolutely heartbroken and devastated.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service released a statement which said: “We were called to an incident on Metchley Lane at 2.56pm yesterday, two ambulances, two paramedic officers and a MERIT trauma doctor attended the scene.

“On arrival we discovered one male patient who was in a critical condition. Ambulance staff administered specialist trauma care at the scene before transporting the patient to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: “We’ve launched a murder investigation following the death of a man who was found with a stab wound. He was found in a car which had crashed in Metchley Lane, Birmingham, at just after 3pm yesterday afternoon (September 22).

“Officers attended and found the man being treated by paramedics but sadly despite their efforts he was later pronounced dead at hospital. Roads in the area are cordoned off as enquiries get underway to establish exactly what happened.

“We’re keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the car, which was silver, driving erratically from the direction of Harborne Lane prior to the crash. We’re also keen to trace a man seen running from the car, as he may have vital information to help the investigation.”

Detective Inspector Jim Mahon, from West Midlands Police’s homicide team said they had collected and are reviewing hours of CCTV to help build a picture of what happened on Thursday afternoon.

“We’ve also spoken to various witnesses and people in the area,” he said.

“We’ve had a great response from people in the area for which we are grateful, and I continue to urge anyone who saw anything to contact us.

“We are working through the evidence, to produce a timeline of events, leading up to the collision of the car Richard was travelling in and a stationary vehicle.

Mr Mahon said he would like to thank the public for their “assistance and patience” for the disruption caused in the local area, as a result of the scene examination.

“We are still trying to trace a man seen leaving the scene of the collision. He is described as an Asian male and wearing white sweatshirt and white tracksuit bottoms,” he said.

“Richard’s family are devastated, we need your help to find those responsible for this desperately sad act.”

Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch, quoting log 2423 of 22 September.