Pensioner injured in scooter hit and run

IT IS a hit and run accident like no other - when a pensioner was left sprawling on the ground with a broken hip after being mown down by a mobility scooter rider.

IT IS a hit and run accident like no other - when a pensioner was left sprawling on the ground with a broken hip after being mown down by a mobility scooter rider.

Derek Hunwicks, 77, was knocked over by a reversing scooter as he was walking in Grimwade Street, Ipswich - but despite his cries of agony the mobility rider simply drove away.

Instead kind-hearted passers-by were left to come to his aid and call an ambulance.

Now Mr Hunwicks, of Chilton Road, off Foxhall Road, is undergoing physiotherapy after an operation on his broken hip.


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He said: “I was walking along minding my own business on the pavement in Grimwade Street and the scooter roared out in reverse in front of me from a concealed sideway.

“It knocked me into the road and then scootered off leaving me. Short of being blind and deaf they must have realised what they had done as I was shouting and yelling.

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“I didn't see them very well as they had a big woolly hat on. Also, because they were reversing I couldn't see their face. I couldn't even see if it was a man or a woman.”

He is now being cared for at home by his wife of 54 years Barbara. He has had to have his bed moved downstairs because he cannot get up stairs.

The accident happened on November 8 and Mr Hunwicks was released from hospital on November 17. When he called police to report the incident he said he was advised to go to the Elm Street police station. Because he is unable to walk he has not yet reported it and he is hoping to arrange for an officer to go to his home and take a statement.

The story comes after it was revealed many of Britain's 250,000 mobility scooter owners are riding illegally.

Research showed many users are inadvertently breaking the law by failing to register the scooters with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Local authorities and the police are accused of failing to enforce the law and MPs and safety campaigners have called for the industry to be brought under control.

Mr Hunwicks thanked Ipswich Hospital's A&E department and showed his gratitude by making a donation to The Evening Star's Lifesaver: Evening Star Christmas Appeal 2006, which aims to raise £22,000 for a cardiac ultrasound machine for the hospital.

He said: “Accident and emergency looked after me very quickly. I think they do such a good job despite being under so much pressure.

“I'm now being held together by nuts, bolts and screws.

“All the staff I saw had a great attitude and as someone who has paid into the health service all my life, it is sad for me to see the hospital is struggling.”

N Have you been injured in an unusual accident? Do you have praise for Ipswich Hospital's A&E department? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

OUR Lifesaver: Evening Star Christmas Appeal 2006 aims to raise £22,000 for a cardiac ultrasound machine for Ipswich Hospital's accident and emergency department.

The machine quickly helps doctors diagnose acute cardiac conditions, including heart failure, and is expected to help around 1,000 people every year.

Currently, the hospital relies on older technology such as x-rays. It has other ultrasound machines in the radiology department but often A&E patients need a scan immediately and the new machine will be on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The state-of-the-art machine can also do other ultrasound scans besides those for the heart.

We aim to reach the £22,000 target by mid January next year.

Members of the East of England Co-operative Society can help by quoting the dividend number 977 at the till.

N To support the appeal, send cheques made out to Lifesaver: Evening Star Christmas Appeal 2006, to 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN

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