A HIT and run driver is being hunted following a collision in Southbourne which left an elderly woman with serious head and leg injuries.

Shocked pub and estate agent office staff rushed to the aid of the 89-year-old pedestrian after the accident on their doorstep at 3.32pm on Tuesday.

Two ambulances were sent to Southbourne Grove and the victim was taken to Poole hospital for treatment following the collision with a blue Honda Civic.

Gina Steele, duty manager at the Grove Tavern, said: “It looked like the man involved had been reversing around the corner from Southbourne Grove into Ches-nutt Avenue.

“He had a child in the car; he stopped briefly and got out of a dark blue Honda before driving off. It looked like the woman had been crossing the road and was walking towards to the pub when the accident happened. She had a plastic carrier bag and was obviously shocked but talking.”

Pub owner Clive Mace said police had taken a copy of their CCTV footage which might identify the driver.

He said: “Fortunately, we installed CCTV cameras outside last year but this is just the latest incident to illustrate how important it is to have council cameras along The Grove.

“It’s shocking that the driver left the scene and we are hoping our camera footage will help catch him.

“Our cameras have been able to assist police investigations on several occasions.”

Pub worker Orry Leslie, who alerted the emergency services, said: “I didn’t see the accident but there were lots of people outside and then someone came in and shouted: ‘Call an ambulance.’ Justin Power, assistant manager at Winkworth estate agent’s office opposite, said: “I saw a car reversing around the corner and then a lady on the floor.

“She had a head injury and was bleeding; it looked like a bad cut and I tried to stem the blood while a colleague put a jacket over her. She was shocked and quite angry; she kept saying the man involved was an idiot.

“He stopped and got out; there was a woman in the car. Then he drove off slowly; everyone was concentrating on helping the lady but we got his registration number.”

Police said the vehicle was reversing round the junction on the wrong side of the road.

They are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to phone 101, quoting incident number 18:316, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

PC Tim Brehmer, of Dorset police traffic unit, said: “I am appealing for anyone who is able to identify the motorist who failed to stop at the scene, or has any further information about the vehicle involved, to contact us urgently.

“I’d also urge the driver to do the right thing and speak with us.

“All calls will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”