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Wanted driver could be anywhere in Dorset
3:56pm Monday 4th March 2013 in Latest
THE devastated mother of teenager Jade Clark made an emotional appeal yesterday to the driver of the car that hit her to come forward.
Jade, 16 and from Ringwood, was killed in a collision on the A31 near the town on the evening of Sunday, February 24.
She was riding her red moped and was pronounced dead at the scene.
It is believed the wanted driver could be anywhere in the county.
Since the tragedy, police have been appealing for the driver of a Volvo XC90 – one of several vehicles involved – to come forward, so far without success.
Police said they could not be sure of the colour of the car, which they believe was the first to hit Jade’s moped.
Yesterday, Sharon Clark, flanked by step-dad Daniel Clark, dad Billy Herald and grandmother Linda Pidgley, bravely appealed directly to the driver to come forward.
Speaking at Ringwood Fire Station, she said: “From the moment we were given this awful news, the family has been devastated.
“Jade was such a loving girl. Losing her has left a hole in our hearts and our lives that we will never fill.
“She was a wonderful daughter, step-daughter; sister, grand-daughter and friend.
“So many people have said so many nice things about Jade and I’d like to say thank-you to all of them for their kindness.
“To lose Jade the way we did is what’s hardest to bear.
“For a driver to cause Jade’s accident and then drive away, leaving her alone in the road, is almost too difficult to believe.
“To that driver, I would say please, please come forward and contact the police.
“You must be finding this hard to live with, especially if you have children of your own.
“To anyone else who knows this driver, or knows where the car might be, please contact the police as soon as possible.”
Tributes have poured in for Jade since the collision.
She was a member of the Young Firefighters’ Association at Ringwood and a former pupil of Ringwood School.
She was on her way to a party when she died.
Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to £1,000.
SENIOR investigating officer, Insp Matt Butler, said the driver of the Volvo XC90 involved in the collision which killed Jade Clark must come forward.
He told the Daily Echo: “You have just seen how absolutely traumatised and devastated their lives are, that's why we're here today.
“We know that Jade was riding her moped along the A31 when she was struck from behind by a Volvo XC90.
“The Volvo XC90 left the scene before the police arrived.
“We now trying to locate the driver of that XC90 and it's so important that Jade's family have come here today and gone through all that trauma again to get that message across to as many people as possible to say that we do need the public's help to find this XC90.
“It will have damage to the front. We believe that the driver of the vehicle will know and will have realised that the collision has happened due to the damage on the front.
“To the public I would say if you see a Volvo XC90 with damage to the front, please do call Dorset Police - 01202 222222.
“To the driver of the vehicle, this is not going to go away, it has to be dealt with - the sooner you come forward and speak to us the better it is for everyone concerned to get the matter resolved, not just for the family, but for the driver as well.
“At the press conference today we have been talking about the entire South Coast, it's a trunk road, it's part of the primary road network, potentially that vehicle could have travelled to anywhere or from anywhere along the South Coast, potentially even into London, so at the moment our enquiry focuses on the whole South Coast.
“As and when it needs to it will move further up the country.”
Members of the public will be eligible for the cash reward if they call the Crimestoppers line - 0800 555 111 - with information that leads to the arrest and charge of an offender.
Witnesses and anyone with information can call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 24:393.
JADE Clark died of severe head injuries after the collision, an inquest heard yesterday.
Coroner's officer Andrew Lord said she was struck by more than one vehicle after being knocked off her scooter.
He also read a short summary of the cause of death by pathologist Russell Delaney, who carried out a post-mortem examination.
Coroner Sheriff Payne said: “The Dorset Police investigation is continuing, and the driver of a particular vehicle is being sought, so I will adjourn to a date to be fixed in due course.
“It is likely to be some months before the final date is achieved.”
DORSET Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said “I have been briefed by the force on this issue and my thoughts are obviously with the family at this terrible time.
“I have also requested that I receive a briefing on the summary of accidents on this stretch of road, in order that I can be properly sighted on the issues.
“If, as I suspect, there is a real case here for lowering the speed, then I will work with the local MPs, partners and the Hampshire PCC to address the issue.
“We must not let county borders infringe on what appears to be a real road safety issue, and I welcome the Hampshire PCC's and local MP's position on this.”