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Sturry couple Sue and Garry Coombes' heartache as beloved dog killed in hit-and-run in Woodside Road

By Lowri Stafford

A devastated Canterbury couple whose dog was killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver have issued a desperate appeal to find the culprit.

Sue and Garry Coombes' beloved poodle-sheltie cross Maisie was mowed down outside their home in Woodside Road, Sturry.

As the 18-month-old lay seriously injured in the road, Mr Coombes watched in horror as the brown Peugeot sped off without stopping.

Maisie the dog was hit and killed by a car in Sturry

The drama unfolded at about 9.30am last Wednesday, when Mr Coombes was outside trimming his neighbour's hedge.

Maisie was in the front garden and, when a group of children who live nearby called her name, she darted across the road - and into the path of the car.

Postman Mr Coombes, 53, said: "The kids suddenly called her and before I could do anything, she was gone. Her injuries were so extensive - I've never seen so much blood."

Frantic, he phoned his wife - also a postal worker - who rushed home from work. The couple then wrapped dying Maisie in a blanket and took her to the vet's.

By the time they arrived, she had already succumbed to her horrific injuries.

Mrs Coombes, also 53, said: "I just can't believe someone could be so callous and drive off. I feel devastated that they care so little about a life. She may have only been a dog to them but she was a part of our family.

"We want to find the person so they can take responsibility - they need to face up to it."

Couple Sue and Garry Coombes outside their home in Woodside Road, Sturry

Mr Coombes said: "We're good people. If they had stopped, we would've said 'she ran out, it was an accident'. I was really upset when it happened, but now, I'm just so angry that they didn't stop."

The couple also raised fears that the driver could have hit a child rather than their pet.

Mrs Coombes said: "Our road leads down to a primary school. There's always children playing in the street.

"The car hit Maisie with such force. The damage they did to her was awful. There's no way the driver didn't know he had hit something.

"The sound brought neighbours out of their houses. The kids just screamed. They knocked on the door later to ask how she was and I had to tell them she had died.

"It's quite a tight community, but we didn't realise how many people knew her. They would all stop and stroke her.

"There's been such an outpouring of support since it happened. Everyone is heartbroken."

An appeal for information has been launched to catch the driver who killed Maisie the dog

The couple bought Maisie - their first dog - when she was a puppy.

Mrs Coombes said: "When we were looking for a puppy online, we both unknowingly chose the same one. It was fate.

"She was wonderful. She rarely barked and was amazing with our two grandkids. She was everything we wanted in a dog."

The car, thought to be a Peugeot 205, is described as a rusty brown colour with distinctive white wheel trims.

A CCTV image of the car that hit and killed Maisie the dog in Sturry

A neighbour caught the vehicle leaving the scene on CCTV and the Coombes have released the images in the hope someone will recognise it and come forward.

It is illegal for a driver not to stop at the scene if they hit a dog with their car and the incident has been reported to police.

Police spokesman Glenn Pearson said: "Kent Police was called at just before 12.30pm on Wednesday, August 20 to a report of a road traffic collision in Sturry, Canterbury.

"It was reported a car, believed to be a Peugeot 205, was in collision with a dog crossing Woodside Road. The vehicle failed to stop. Officers are carrying out a number of enquiries."

Anyone with information or who recognises the car is asked to phone police on 101.

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