Teenager Dan Rangecroft pleads for drivers to slow down after his pregnant donkey is killed in hit-and-run crash in New Forest

Bournemouth Echo: Sooty the donkey Sooty the donkey

A TEENAGER has pleaded for drivers to slow down in the New Forest after his pregnant donkey was killed in a hit-and-run crash.

Ten-year-old Sooty was killed by a Land Rover Defender that is thought to have been doing at least 60mph in a 40mph zone.

She ended up about 140ft from the point of impact following the crash, which also killed her unborn foal.

Organisations representing animal owners in the Forest are offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the driver.

Sooty suffered horrific injuries in the accident – described as one of the most gruesome seen in the area for years. She was owned by Dan Rangecroft, 14, of Marchwood, who bought her to replace another donkey killed on the roads.

Now Dan and his mother Sarah are urging drivers to cut their speed and prevent more carnage. Sarah said: “I was very distressed when I heard what had happened. I can’t believe that the person responsible just drove off and didn’t bother to report it.”

It is one of five hit-and-runs in the Forest this month.

Sarah said: “Sooty was killed outright but many animals survive the initial impact, albeit with serious injuries. Drivers should pick up the phone, not just leave their victims to suffer.”

Fellow animal owner Richard Deacon added: “This was one of the most gruesome scenes I’ve ever witnessed.”

The donkey was killed last Sunday on the B3078 Brook to Godshill road – one of the worst routes in the Forest for livestock collisions.

The crash, being investigated by police, was raised at the Court of Verderers in Lyndhurst and sparked gasps of dismay from people in the public gallery. Clerk to Verderers Sue Westwood said: “This was a particularly nasty accident. The blood and unborn foal found on the road indicate that the victim was hit extremely hard by a vehicle travelling at some speed.

The £1,000 reward is being offered by the Verderers and Commoners’ Defence Association.

Comments (10)

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10:25am Fri 21 Feb 14

H2o-hara says...

Sorry to read about the Donkey . That speed of 50 - 60 mph does seem typical of the drivers I come across in the New Forest of what is supposed to be a 40 mph zone .
Sorry to read about the Donkey . That speed of 50 - 60 mph does seem typical of the drivers I come across in the New Forest of what is supposed to be a 40 mph zone . H2o-hara

10:29am Fri 21 Feb 14

echor23 says...

I am so sick of drivers in the forest getting away with this. Put cameras up, have strong prosecutions with hefty fines, licences taken away and even custodial sentences. Carnage is taking place and these people need catching.
I am so sick of drivers in the forest getting away with this. Put cameras up, have strong prosecutions with hefty fines, licences taken away and even custodial sentences. Carnage is taking place and these people need catching. echor23

11:15am Fri 21 Feb 14

suzigirl says...

It was a Land Rover Defender - probably another inhabitant of the Forest? The witnesses knew what make the vehicle was, how fast it was going but did not get the reg! I hate to see any animal suffer but short of fencing off the whole Forest these incidents will happen.
It was a Land Rover Defender - probably another inhabitant of the Forest? The witnesses knew what make the vehicle was, how fast it was going but did not get the reg! I hate to see any animal suffer but short of fencing off the whole Forest these incidents will happen. suzigirl

12:41pm Fri 21 Feb 14

BarrHumbug says...

suzigirl wrote:
It was a Land Rover Defender - probably another inhabitant of the Forest? The witnesses knew what make the vehicle was, how fast it was going but did not get the reg! I hate to see any animal suffer but short of fencing off the whole Forest these incidents will happen.
I agree, Landrover Defender, thats not your typical Chelsea Tractor, more likely someone close to the area?

Why wouldn't you stop and report it? Accidents happen and the donkey may have been startled by something and run out into the vehicles path? Maybe they were travelling a little quick but thats no reason not to stop and report it, the police couldn't convict you for that without proof anyway, although of coarse if the police were called then a breath test would be taken????
[quote][p][bold]suzigirl[/bold] wrote: It was a Land Rover Defender - probably another inhabitant of the Forest? The witnesses knew what make the vehicle was, how fast it was going but did not get the reg! I hate to see any animal suffer but short of fencing off the whole Forest these incidents will happen.[/p][/quote]I agree, Landrover Defender, thats not your typical Chelsea Tractor, more likely someone close to the area? Why wouldn't you stop and report it? Accidents happen and the donkey may have been startled by something and run out into the vehicles path? Maybe they were travelling a little quick but thats no reason not to stop and report it, the police couldn't convict you for that without proof anyway, although of coarse if the police were called then a breath test would be taken???? BarrHumbug

12:57pm Fri 21 Feb 14

chrisii1991 says...

Poor animal,why cant drivers have some consideration
Poor animal,why cant drivers have some consideration chrisii1991

2:43pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Chris the plumber says...

Its about time we used technology to control drivers speed its quite easy as all lorry have a speed restrictor set at just under 60 mph. speed limit signs could be fitted with a sensor that is picked up by the car which would restrict the cars speed. That way you would not be able to do more that 40 mph in the forest or 30 in a town.
Its about time we used technology to control drivers speed its quite easy as all lorry have a speed restrictor set at just under 60 mph. speed limit signs could be fitted with a sensor that is picked up by the car which would restrict the cars speed. That way you would not be able to do more that 40 mph in the forest or 30 in a town. Chris the plumber

4:26pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Liz1964 says...

Me thinks it was done on purpose, there are very sick people out there.
Me thinks it was done on purpose, there are very sick people out there. Liz1964

11:56am Sun 23 Feb 14

thevoiceofreason1 says...

maybe they would like to pay some compensation to the motorcyclist who died on the A31's family because of one of there animals?
i highly doubt it as there animals are never in the wrong!
maybe they would like to pay some compensation to the motorcyclist who died on the A31's family because of one of there animals? i highly doubt it as there animals are never in the wrong! thevoiceofreason1

11:57am Sun 23 Feb 14

thevoiceofreason1 says...

Liz1964 wrote:
Me thinks it was done on purpose, there are very sick people out there.
paranoia is a terrible thing!
[quote][p][bold]Liz1964[/bold] wrote: Me thinks it was done on purpose, there are very sick people out there.[/p][/quote]paranoia is a terrible thing! thevoiceofreason1

5:30pm Sun 23 Feb 14

uvox44 says...

the technology (gps linked to engine management systems) already exists to end speeding full stop. But those motorists who habitually speed would kick up a fuss ( after all their "rights" to drive as fast as they wish would be infringed) - plus of course the powerful motor industry would protest as one of their sales tactics is to appeal to the macho man idea of driving fast= you're a winner (as if getting from a to b was a competition) so sadly more animals and people will be maimed and killed because there is a minority (or is it majority?) who have no sense of responsibilty to others.
the technology (gps linked to engine management systems) already exists to end speeding full stop. But those motorists who habitually speed would kick up a fuss ( after all their "rights" to drive as fast as they wish would be infringed) - plus of course the powerful motor industry would protest as one of their sales tactics is to appeal to the macho man idea of driving fast= you're a winner (as if getting from a to b was a competition) so sadly more animals and people will be maimed and killed because there is a minority (or is it majority?) who have no sense of responsibilty to others. uvox44

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