POLICE are hunting a heartless hit-and-run driver who smashed into a disabled man’s mobility scooter on a pelican crossing and then drove off with a wave.
John Whitley’s oxygen mask was ripped off and he was sent spinning across the road as the woman driver fled from the scene in Preston city centre.
“I can’t believe anyone could be so callous,” said the 63-year-old. “I can’t remember much about what happened, but a witness said she just slowed down, looked back, waved and then drove away.”
Police have issued an appeal for anyone who saw the collision at around midday last Tuesday, or can help identify the driver, to contact them on 101.
John, of New Brook House, New Hall Lane, was on his way to meet his wife Gill to do some shopping when he was struck by what police believe was a dark blue Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra on the crossing in Stanley Street near its junction with New Hall Lane.
“I got to the crossing, pressed the button and when the lights changed I started to cross,” he said. “The cars in the nearside lane stopped, but then as I reached the second lane there was an almighty bang. It was all a bit of a blur after that.
“The force of the collision was so great my walking stick embedded itself in a hedge across the road. I’m told I was on two wheels for a moment, but I caught hold of the oxygen cylinder before it hit the ground and the scooter righted itself.
“My scooter is my lifeline, but I haven’t been out on it since the accident. It’s made me very nervous.”
John’s wife Gill added: “Fortunately he wasn’t injured, but he was very traumatised by the whole thing. The scooter was lifted off the ground by the impact. But if he had been another foot further out into the road he could have been killed. She shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.”