Husband of crash victim makes appeal

A HUSBAND of a hit-and-run victim last night urged the driver to come forward and hand himself in to police.Mike Garnham said he had been left “numb” by his wife Susan's death on Sunday after she was struck by a car in Stoke Park Drive, Ipswich.

Craig Robinson

A HUSBAND of a hit-and-run victim last night urged the driver to come forward and hand himself in to police.

Mike Garnham said he had been left “numb” by his wife Susan's death on Sunday after she was struck by a car in Stoke Park Drive, Ipswich.

He spoke out on the same day the detective leading the investigation also appealed for the driver to come forward.

Mr Garnham said his 61-year-old wife had walked to the paper shop early on Sunday morning when she was struck by the car, believed to be a dark coloured Fiat Punto manufactured between 1999 and 2006, around 8.40am.

He said normally he would have accompanied her on the short stroll from their Hexham Close home but he was watching the Grand Prix so she went alone.

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He said: “She walked past the lounge and I said 'cheerio I'll see you later.' Then the Grand Prix finished and I thought she had been a long time. I left it a bit and I saw two police cars and an ambulance go down and I thought 'it's not right'.

“I walked down and she was just leaving in the ambulance. The police took me to the hospital. I was hoping upon hope that it wasn't her.”

Mrs Garnham, a mother-of-one and grandmother-of-three, was pronounced dead a short time later.

Her devastated husband recalled her happiness when they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary only a fortnight ago.

The couple, who share the same birthday, had been together 42 years in total after meeting at the borough council.

“She was a friend to everyone,” he said. “She was just so happy with life. She loved her grandchildren. She would do anything for them. She was generous - everybody loved her.”

Mr Garnham, 61, a civil planning expert, said he had been filled with anger when he learnt the driver drove away after the accident and wanted him to present himself to police immediately.

He said his wife, who was born in Thetford but came to Ipswich when she was still a girl and went to Northgate High School, worked as an administrator for Stoke High School.

Headteacher Alan Whittaker said: “My colleagues are absolutely devastated, as are many of the pupils - Sue has been here a long time and was a very important part of our school. She will leave a massive gap at Stoke.

“Nothing was too much trouble, she was always smiling, and never got angry - I cannot remember her once losing her patience over anything. This is a devastating loss to the school and to a much wider community of people who knew her.”

At a press conference yesterday afternoon Detective Chief Inspector Mark Jepson made a fresh plea for information.

“We would urge the driver of the vehicle to contact us as soon as possible,” he said. “What may have been an accident could have more serious ramifications if there is an attempt to tamper or destroy evidence.”

The driver is described as white, in his early to mid 20s, between 5ft10in and 6ft tall, of proportionate build and with light brown hair.

His vehicle is believed to have had darkened rear and side windows, appeared to sit close to the ground, may have had low profile tyres and the rear wheel arches are described as being flared over the wheels.

DCI Jepson said: “In essence the vehicle appeared to have been modified to give a sports appearance, we do not know at this stage whether this had been done by the owner or manufactured in this way.”

He also appealed for car enthusiasts that might recognise the vehicle to come forward along with any parents who thought the vehicle belonged to their son.

Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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