The heartbroken dad of a seven-year-old boy killed in a hit-and-run has made an emotional appeal to the driver to hand themselves in.
William Brown was collecting his football from the road in Sandgate, near Folkestone, yesterday when he was knocked down and “left dying” in the street.
Fighting back tears, his devastated father, Will Brown Snr, has said in a video appeal shared with KentOnline: "People of Folkestone and Hythe, could you please help us.
"At 5.35pm last night, Wednesday, December 6, we lost our son who was hit in a hit-and-run trying to collect his football.
"Can you please help us?
"If you have any information at all, any inkling, or anything you saw when you drove past, or anything at all."
William was struck near his home in Sandgate Esplanade, close to its junction with Prospect Road.
Mr Brown held up his beloved son's green football shirt as he filmed the appeal in William’s bedroom.
Behind him are teddy bears and a neon sign bearing William’s name.
"Please reach out to Kent Police so we can work out what happened to our son,” continued Mr Brown,
"And if it was you that done it, William Jnr was a beautiful boy and he believed in forgiveness and love, and peace, we already forgive you.
"If it's you, you're feeling guilty, but we really need to know so we can lay our son in peace and know what happened to him."
William leaves behind mum Laura, dad Will, his partner Vicky Phillips, and a six-year-old sister, Pearl, with whom he was “the best of friends”.
Police and ambulance crews had rushed to the town centre after the incident, but despite efforts to save his life, William died at the scene.
Officers have now issued an appeal for anyone with information or dashcam footage to come forward.
They say the collision happened on the A259 Sandgate Esplanade, near its junction with Prospect Road.
It involved two vehicles - an unidentified car or van and a red Citroen car. The unidentified vehicle left the scene in the direction of Hythe, before the arrival of emergency services.
Anyone who witnessed the collision, or who saw either the victim or vehicles in the moments leading up to it, is urged to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 01622 798538, quoting reference MM/DGC/130/23. You can also email email@example.com
Drivers are also asked to check dashcams or CCTV for any footage that may help the investigation,including footage in the area before and after the incident, which can be submitted to the police here.
Posting on Facebook about the tragedy last night, a woman – thought to be a family member of William – said: “Anyone who has any CCTV footage of the local area please have a look. Any dashcams eyewitness or anyone with any information on the driver.
“Please come forward and contact the police. Help us catch this killer, please share this everyone. Thank you so much.”
The incident sparked a huge emergency services response, with multiple teams sent to the scene in the aftermath.
The high street remained closed overnight to allow police to carry out accident investigation work.
The road reopened just after 7am today.