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West Malling hit-and-run victim calls on driver to come forward

A hit-and-run victim has spoken from her hospital bed to call on the driver who left her lying seriously injured in the road to come forward.

Tracy Lemaux, 49, was among three woman who were mown down by a Ford Fiesta on the pedestrian crossing in West Malling High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Police and ambulance crews at the scene in West Malling
Police and ambulance crews at the scene in West Malling

While one victim was taken to a local hospital and another was treated at the scene, Tracy bore the brunt of the impact and was flown to Kings College Hospital in London with a badly fractured leg, broken ribs and a fractured cheek bone.

Thankfully she is now recovering and hoping to be back at her home in King Street, West Malling, by next week – and she was well enough on Friday afternoon to speak to KentOnline.

"I can't remember much of it," said Tracy, a volunteer worker for the Hospice In The Weald in Swan Street. "I had come out of work and had been to the shops – I had gone into Tesco and was going to cross the road.

"I didn't remember I had crossed with two others – I didn't know them, they were just on the crossing at the same time. I had seen this black car coming and was thinking it was going to stop.

"The next thing I was lying on the floor, someone was holding my head and I was in horrific pain. The ambulance was there and they cut off my clothes. I remember thinking I know everyone in West Malling and I'm naked in the high street.

"I was calling for my partner. They got hold of him and I got taken to the ambulance on the cricket ground and they took me by helicopter to King's College."

Three people were injured. Picture: Alex Jee
Three people were injured. Picture: Alex Jee

Meanwhile the driver of the car had raced down Swan Street towards East Malling, where the black Fiesta was later found abandoned in Twisden Road.

Police swarmed onto the scene and put out an appeal for help to trace the driver, and many who saw the aftermath of the crash feared it had been fatal.

"Somebody put a bunch of flowers on a bench near the crossing, so everybody had thought the worst," added Tracy. "It was on KentOnline and there was CID there.

"I remember being in the helicopter, but I don't remember the whole flight. I had been given drugs. They plastered my leg and they put me on the ward and I had an operation the next morning.

"I read it on KentOnline later," she added. "My children had been up and showed me. I've been saying to my kids he won't get caught – they're saying they found his car in East Malling, but I can't tell the police any more than I remember."

Asked how she was feeling, she was well enough to joke: "I feel like I've been hit by a car" – but the reality of her injuries make for grim reading.

"My leg was fractured in two places at the base of my leg," she said. "I've had an operation on it so I've got a permanent metal rod in it.

"I've broken a couple of ribs. I've got a chest drain to drain fluid from my lung.

"I had air trapped above the lung and I've been on oxygen as well. I've also got stitches in my face and a fractured cheek bone, but they're not concerned about that, because that will fix itself."

"They said I'd be here another couple of days. They've got me out of bed and sitting in a chair and they'll take me down for another X-ray to see if the fluid has cleared from my lung."

Police at the scene in West Malling.
Police at the scene in West Malling.

Hopefully Tracy will be out of hospital soon but it will take her months to recover, and in the meantime she hopes the driver of the Fiesta will be brought to justice.

"To be honest he's got to be callous if he can't admit what he's done," she added. "It's not just me. He's injured two other people. I came off worse but that's not the point. It could have been even worse.

"It happened at 4pm so you've got school kids crossing that road and if they take an impact like we did it could have been worse.

"I think it's disgusting that he hasn't got the guts to come forward when he's done that."

If you have any information call 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/46089/20, or call Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111 or completing the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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