STAFF at a Blackpool hotel who rushed to help a dog walker knocked down by a car today spoke of their shock after the woman died in hospital.
Jennifer Jones, 68, from central Blackpool, died at around 9.30pm on Friday after being hit by a vehicle on Queens Promenade outside the Savoy Hotel, earlier that evening.
A post mortem is expected to be carried out today but it is thought she suffered head and knee injuries in the crash.
Staff from the North Shore hotel described how they went to Ms Jones’ aid and took cups of tea and towels to make her comfortable as she waited for an ambulance.
Sam Lee, 22, food and beverages manager at the Savoy, said: “There were quite a lot of people with her. She didn’t look like she had suffered fatal injuries, she was complaining she had a sore leg.
“We were all saddened when we heard she had died – it’s shocking.”
CCTV captured Ms Jones parking her car at the side of the hotel to walk her three dogs, a black Labrador and two Collie pedigrees, on the seafront.
Police say it is thought she was struck by a silver Ford Focus after stepping out into the road just after 5pm, around 10 metres from a zebra crossing as she walked away from Gynn Square.
The dogs were later found by staff from the Savoy Hotel and are now in the care of a local dog walking club.
Scott Grimes, 25, receptionist at the hotel, said: “It’s tragic, it seems like a freak event. We tracked down one of the dogs and caught it on the Promenade, that was a relief at least. My deepest sympathies go to her family.”
Some off-duty nurses staying at the hotel tended to Ms Jones until paramedics arrived who took her to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
It was initially thought she had suffered only minor head and knee injuries but she deteriorated rapidly.
Paramedic Dave Rigby, who was one of the first on scene, praised the help offered by passers-by at the scene. He said: “A number of people, including young children, couldn’t do enough for the injured woman.”
Police, who closed part of the Prom for around an hour after the collision, say the driver of the car, a 46-year-old man, remained at the scene.
Officers have managed to trace a distant relative of Ms Jones and are appealing for witnesses of the collision to come forward.
Sgt Malcolm Bell, from Blackpool’s road policing unit, said: “This is a tragic incident and we would appeal for people to help in our inquiries. There were quite a few cars and pedestrians in the area, we could do with any of them coming forward.
“We’ll be speaking to the driver once we get all the information together, but he has not been arrested.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.