JADE Clark’s death sparked the largest-scale enquiry ever carried out by Dorset Police’s traffic unit.

A team of traffic cops, together with detectives from the force’s Major Crime Investigation Team and officers from around the country, spent weeks searching for the driver of the Volvo XC90 who knocked the 16-year-old off her scooter and callously drove away.

During their investigation they examined more than 1,500 XC90s and interviewed countless witnesses.

The police also sought the help of the public and Jade’s devastated mum Sharon, step-dad Danny and Nan Linda gave an emotional press conference calling for the hit-and-run driver to come forward.

DI Marcus Hester, of MCIT, said: “In our first wave we had to examine all Volvo XC90s in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset before spreading out to other counties as intelligence and information came to us. It was a process of elimination which took a long time.

“It’s the largest scale- hit-and-run enquiry I can remember and that morning when we thought we had found the vehicle there was a great lift in the team.”

He added: “It was a pretty callous crime because we are now aware that if Hampton had stopped at the time, it’s unlikely that young Jade Clark would have died. She was left exposed on an un-lit road and it was, sadly, the following car that caused her fatal injuries.

“The reaction from the public was exceptional. We were dealing with a pretty 16-year-old girl going about her own business who, through no fault of her own, died due to the behaviour of Hampton.

“He made an informed decision to drive his vehicle that day whilst disqualified with tragic consequences.

“The only reason he drove away was self-preservation. He had no regard for anybody else.”

Traffic Inspector Matt Butler, who led the investigation, said: “I would like to pay tribute to jade’s family, who despite their unbearable heartache, found the strength to do everything they could to help us trace the car.”

Insp Butler added: “Thank you to the public for all their help they gave us. The response from the public was quite heartening and played no small part in tracing the car.”