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Home   Medway   News   Article

Murder investigation as John O'Donohue dies following Gillingham hit-and-run after row with two men in Ford Mondeo

24 January 2014
by Lynn Cox

Inquiries continued today after a man died after being mown down in a hit-and-run in Gillingham.

John O'Donohue, also known as Hedges, was left critically ill with multiple injuries after being pinned against railings before being dragged down a road.

Detectives have now launched a murder investigation after the 33-year-old, from Gillingham, passed away in hospital.

The car involved in the hit-and-run in Gillingham. Picture Andy Payton

The car involved in the hit-and-run in Gillingham. Picture: Andy Payton

He was knocked down by a stolen car in Castlemaine Avenue at about 8.50pm on Thursday following a row with two men inside.

John O'Donohue, who died after a hit-and-run in Gillingham

John O'Donohue, who died after a hit-and-run in Gillingham

Mr O'Donohue, pictured, was struck by the green Ford Mondeo estate before the pair - thought to be in their 20s - ran away.

He suffered serious head, neck, thorax, abdomen and upper leg injuries.

"We are building up a picture of the events of that night and any information witnesses might have, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could prove important in our investigation..." - DI Ivan Beasley

Detectives believe he was driven at by the car that mounted a grass bank and pinned him against a metal fence.

He was then dragged down onto a pavement about 3ft below before the driver and passenger fled.

DI Ivan Beasley, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "This is now being treated as a murder investigation and my team of detectives have been carrying out a number of enquiries throughout the night and into today.

"We believe there were people who might have seen two groups of men having an argument at the junction with Grange Road.

"It appears the incident stemmed from that and I'd urge anyone that might have seen or heard what happened just before 8.50pm yesterday, to call us immediately.

"We are building up a picture of the events of that night and any information witnesses might have, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could prove important in our investigation."

Scroll down for video

The car mounted a grass verge before hitting a railing. Picture Andy Payton

The car mounted a grass verge before hitting a railing. Picture: Andy Payton

A police cordon around the car in Castlemaine Avenue. Picture Andy Payton

A police cordon around the car in Castlemaine Avenue. Picture: Andy Payton

A police officer at the scene of the hit-and-run in Gillingham. Picture Andy Payton

Scene of the hit-and-run in Gillingham. Picture: Andy Payton

The stolen car plunged several feet onto this road in Gillingham

The stolen car plunged several feet onto this road in Gillingham

Officers believe the victim was one of two pedestrians involved in a dispute with two men in the car at the junction with Grange Road.

The pedestrians then walked off down Castlemaine Avenue.

But the Mondeo drove down the road towards them before hitting Mr O'Donohue.

Police at the scene of the hit-and-run today. Picture Andy Payton

Police at the scene of the hit-and-run. Picture: Andy Payton

A police cordon in Grange Road, where the incident is believed to have begun. Picture Andy Payton

A police cordon in Grange Road, where the incident is believed to have begun. Picture: Andy Payton

Police remained at the scene this morning. Picture Kay Carpenter

Police remained at the scene this morning. Picture: Kay Carpenter

Police said the other man was unhurt and ran to raise the alarm at a nearby badminton club.

The occupants of the vehicle, described as two dark-skinned men in their 20s and wearing casual clothing, fled.

The Kent Air Ambulance landed at a site nearby, but Mr O'Donohue was taken to King's College Hospital by road before he later died.

Castlemaine Avenue and Grange Road were closed until around 5am to allow officers to investigate.

Video: Scene of the hit-and-run in Gillingham 

Police remained at the scene this morning and the car could still be seen where it had landed.

Forensics officers were scouring the area for clues as officers spoke to residents.

By about 1.30pm, the car was taken away by a recovery truck as investigators continued their work.

Police in Castlemaine Avenue, Gillingham, after the hit-and-run. Picture Kay Carpenter

Police in Castlemaine Avenue, Gillingham, after the hit-and-run. Picture: Kay Carpenter

Det Insp Ivan Beasley, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "At this time we are treating this as a criminal act and would encourage anyone who witnessed the incident and has not yet spoken to police or anyone who believes they have information that could assist in the investigation to come forward.

"Any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could provide a valuable lead."

Police closed the road in Gillingham for about eight hours. Picture @KatieW14

Police closed the road in Gillingham for about eight hours. Picture: @KatieW14

Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to phone police on 101, quoting incident reference 23-1466, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.


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