Police are renewing their appeal for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward following a fatal fail to stop collision – with details and an image of a vehicle they are keen to trace being released and a reward being offered.
Officers were called at 7.25pm on Friday 13 December to the collision at the junction of Darby’s Lane and Heath Avenue in Poole where 69-year-old Christopher Colegate from Poole had been left fatally injured in the road.
After being struck by a vehicle which failed to stop at the scene, he was taken to Poole Hospital with significant injuries, but sadly later died.
Mr Colegate was frail, walked with a distinctive stoop and used two walking sticks to aid his mobility.
Police investigating the road traffic collision are today appealing to the driver of a BMW car to come forward.
Police Sergeant Stuart Pitman, of Dorset Police’s Traffic Unit, said: “I believe this vehicle is a silver BMW 3 Series manufactured between March 1998 and February 2006.
“This BMW was in the immediate area of the collision scene at the time and I am convinced the driver would have witnessed some of the incident. I wish to make it clear that I believe this to be a witness not a suspect.
“The BMW drove along Wimborne Road away from the town centre, turning right into Dorchester Road in Oakdale then left into Darby’s Lane. Please can the driver of this car contact Dorset Police as soon as possible on 101.”
A dedicated team of officers from Dorset Police’s Traffic Unit are investigating the incident.
Police Sergeant Pitman added: “I am still keen to speak to the drivers of two other vehicles that were in the area at the time of the collision. A Honda Civic-type vehicle travelling from Darby’s Lane into Popes Road and a medium sized light-coloured family car, which travelled along Heath Avenue toward Wimborne Road at speed. I urge these drivers to come forward so we can eliminate you from the investigation.
“I would also like to trace a male pedestrian walking along Darby’s Lane toward Johnston Road who passed Mr Colegate shortly before the collision. This pedestrian was wearing a grey hooded top with the hood up.
“And as we approach Christmas Day, I would urge the driver involved in this collision to do the right thing and call Dorset Police.”
The charity Crimestoppers has offered a reward of up to £1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and charge of an offender.
Members of the public will only be eligible for the cash reward if they call the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.
[box type=”info” bg=”ffcccc”]Mr Colegate: Family tribute
Mr Colegate was born in Poole in 1944 and lived in Oakdale for the majority of his childhood and adolescence. He attended St Christopher’s and Henry Harbin schools before serving an apprenticeship in engineering.
Mr Colegate married Freda at St George’s Church in Oakdale in 1966 and they remained in Poole.
Following his passion for the sea, Mr Colegate joined the Royal Navy Reserves as a young man and always talked fondly of his travels. Each year he took his family to Navy Day in Portsmouth.
His other passion was for motorbikes and once owned a Norton Atlas – his prize possession. Sadly, ill health forced him to sell his bike. Mr Colegate was also an avid Arsenal Football Club fan and enjoyed trips to both Highbury and the Emirates Stadium.
Paying tribute, Mr Colegate’s family said: “Our Dad was a popular character and the nature of his illness meant he was distinctive when out and about and his frailty obvious. Despite his chronic disabilities he remained independent and as active as possible. He was well-known in the community for his generous nature and happy disposition. He would do anything for his family and friends.
“He loved his grandchildren to bits and would do anything for them. Every year on her birthday, he made his granddaughter a number for her playhouse to reflect her age. It is her birthday on Christmas Day. She knows there will be no number eight this year.
“So many lovely things have been said about Dad since the collision and the family would like to thank those people for all their kind words. We would now ask that we are left alone for a period and given some time to deal with the aftermath of this terrible tragedy.”
Mr Colegate’s daughters, Rachel Hayward and Tash Motton, and wife Freda Colegate attended a press conference on Friday 20 December 2013 and urged the driver to have the “courage and decency” to contact the police.[/box]