A mum whose autistic son has been left “inconsolable” by the hit-and-run death of his beloved dog today made a direct appeal to the driver to come forward.
Lucy, a black cocker spaniel, had been at the heart of the Pohl family since they brought her home as an eight week old puppy in 2002.
But during her daily walk in Queens Park, central Blackpool her owners Claire Pohl and autistic son Bradley, 20, were left devastated when the usually well-behaved dog became spooked and ran out of the park and into the road.
Several cars travelling down nearby Collingwood Avenue managed to avoid the dog but one driver hit her head on.
But instead of trying to help the seriously injured animal, the driver got out of his car, looked at the dog before getting back in and driving away – leaving her for dead in the road.
Onlookers even tried to chase the driver without any luck.
If the driver had stopped I could have got Lucy to the vet much quicker
Claire, 41, said: “If the driver had stopped I could have got Lucy to the vet much quicker.
“Instead I had to leave her in pain to run home to get my car.
“The people who stopped to help me said she cried for me the whole time I was away. It’s heartbreaking, Lucy had been a member of our family for 13 years.
“She had a lovely personality and was a great comfort to my autistic son Bradley. She helped keep him calm.
“I want this man prosecuted so he learns his actions have consequences and have caused us pain.”
The special school chef said Bradley was so distraught when he heard the news he begged her not to let the family’s other dogs off their leads at the park again.
Claire, of Dutton Road, central Blackpool, said: “Bradley can’t show emotion because of the autism but since we told him about Lucy he has been crying.
“He has the mind of a young child.
“He used to love walking Lucy and she would bring him his mail.
“He is now really anxious.”
Lucy was left with multiple injuries including severe head trauma and a broken back. Witnesses said she even tried to crawl from the road with her fatal injuries.
After been taken to the local vets, just an hour later the family were told there was nothing more that could be done.
Recalling the accident Claire, said: “Shortly after Lucy bolted I heard a loud sickening noise, but I think I was in a bit of denial. I really didn’t think she would have been the one to go into the road.
“As I got closer I could see it was Lucy.
“She was crying and had blood coming from her eyes and mouth.
“Witnesses said she had been trying to get back to me.
“It all happened so quickly, I had to make the decision to leave her to be able to run home and get my car so I could take her to the vet.
“But when I got back I could tell she wasn’t going to make it.”
Police have now launched an investigation and are appealing for information to help them try and find the motorist involved in the collision shortly after 10.10am on August 25.
The driver was white, in his late 30s to early 40, with dark hair and was wearing a black quilted jacket. It is also thought that he had a young girl aged around six with blonde hair in the vehicle with him.
He was driving a small black or dark grey hatchback, possibly with a 61 or 62 registration plate.
Claire said: “This man killed my dog and despite having a child in the car didn’t stop and do the right thing.
“I know Lucy wasn’t a child but how would he feel if it was his daughter? Lucy was a massive part of my family.
“I want to know who he is.
“He committed a crime by not reporting the accident.
“He showed a total disregard and sheer callousness by doing nothing to help Lucy.”
Bradley and Claire and her eldest son Paul, 23, are not the only members of the Pohl family who are missing Lucy.
12-year-old cocker spaniel and Lucy’s long term companion Sally has been so heartbroken since the accident she has been off her food and had to visit the vet.
The mother-of-two said: “I have been getting really concerned about Sally, she has been ill and won’t eat or anything.
“The vet said the only thing we could do to relieve her grief was to get her a new companion.
“We have just got a new eight week old cocker spaniel puppy called Katie but it feels too soon.
“She is helping Sally a little though.
“Lucy had a lovely nature. She was very loving and loyal.
“I do take responsibility for the fact she was off the lead and able to get on the road but I was well into the park before I let her off.
“She had never done anything like this before. It was so out of character.”
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101.