Family's new plea to hit-and-run driver who killed Chris Colegate

Bournemouth Echo: KILLED: Christopher Colegate KILLED: Christopher Colegate

“STOP prolonging our pain.”

That's the desperate plea from the devastated family of much-loved grandfather, Christopher Colegate, mown down in a tragic hit-and-run crash in Poole.

Four weeks after the death of the popular disabled pensioner, who was found seriously injured in the road at the junction of Darby's Lane and Heath Avenue at 7.25pm on Friday December 13, his family continue to live in limbo.

His wife Freda and daughters Natasha Motton and Rachel Hayward say it feels like “the world stopped four weeks ago” and despite struggling through Christmas for their children's sake, the reality of what's happened still doesn't feel real.

“We've just been trying to carry on for the children to make it as normal as possible”, Natasha said.

“But it feels like the world stopped four weeks ago.

“You spend hours trawling websites to see if anyone has said anything that might help.

“It's like it's happening to someone else.

“Every Friday night we relive the whole thing thinking, 'This time four weeks ago he would have been doing this'.”

Rachel added: “7.25pm is an awful time every Friday for all of us. You find yourself having virtual walks down the road and imagining what might have happened.

“There are so many questions unanswered.”

Mr Colegate was on his way to Oakdale Conservative Club when he was struck by the car which failed to stop.

His wife, Freda, said: “Being at home on your own, you expect him to walk through the door or be sat in the chair.

“He was a real character, very outgoing. We would have been married 48 years in March - we had our wedding reception at the Conservative Club.

“It's as if someone has just stopped the clocks and we are all waiting for him to walk back in.”

Appealing directly to the driver or anyone with information, Natasha said: “Think about how everyone is feeling. We are never going to move on it, it's never going to stop hurting.

“We need to know what happened.

She added: “They could do it again. I wouldn't want anyone to go through what we are right now.”

Rachel said: “This person has left a man with a catalogue of horrendous injuries lying in the road. They must feel some guilt.

“Somebody must know. If they are a partner or someone living with someone who might be acting a bit different, tell the police.

“When the phone rings, I think, 'this is it', it's the police calling to tell me they've got someone.

“And whoever did this must be thinking the same when the door goes or someone taps them on the shoulder.”

Contact Dorset Police on 101 with any information or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.

Unexpected gift for granddaughter

CHRIS Colegate’s eight-year-old granddaughter Eloise has written a touching thank you letter to a kind-hearted person who left an unexpected Christmas gift for her.

Eloise, whose birthday falls on Christmas Day, always received a special gift from her grandfather of a handmade number for her playhouse to reflect her age.

However, despite not expecting a number eight this year, Eloise did get her traditional gift from a stranger when the family returned home after Christmas.

In her thank you note to the unknown person, the youngster wrote: “Dear Santa’s Helper, “Thank you for the number eight you sent me for my birthday. It was very kind. It’s on my bedroom door and I think of grandpa when I see it.”

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