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Injured man on A35 ‘hit and run’ victim
POLICE believe a driver who hit and badly injured an elderly man may be unaware of the collision on the A35 at Chideock.
The 79-year-old, who is believed suffer from dementia, was found early on Sunday with serious injuries. He was found on Chideock Hill just west of the village at around 4.45am.
The pensioner from Ryall is in Dorset County Hospital where his condition is described as ‘stable’ but he is unable to help police with their enquiries.
Police Sergeant Jon Wren, of Dorset Police’s Traffic Unit, said: “The injuries the victim sustained are severe and are likely to seriously affect him for the rest of his life. Because of the time the incident occurred the motorist might have had the impression that an animal rather than a human was hit.
“I would therefore like to speak to anyone who has been in collision with anything and however small along this road during that night. I urge the driver in question to do the right thing and speak with the police.
“I am also appealing for witnesses to the collision as I need to establish what exactly happened.”
Police closed the road for hours while they carried out forensics tests to establish how the man sustained his life-changing injuries.
He has suspected head and back injuries.
Bridport Police Insp Mike Darby said: “We had to close the road to find evidence of blood and impact and we obviously had to be able to examine the entire three lanes on that fast bit of road.”
The lengthy road closure caused traffic chaos all day with drivers having no clear idea of how to complete their journeys.
Some motorists were ignoring the road closure signs at the Crown roundabout and had to be turned back by a policeman on duty at Miles Cross.
Insp Darby added: “Obviously locals have a clear idea of where they are going but then people in lorries and vans see them and they follow not realising the road conditions.
“Then you get an HGV going down a lane that is not big enough for a car let alone a lorry and that causes chaos.
“It happens every time Chideock is closed.”
He said there was no obvious diversionary route and it was difficult for people using satnavs to recalculate their journeys to avoid the A35 when they don’t know the area.
He said: “The reality is if an HGV wants to get to Poole from Charmouth the only realistic way is for them to go to Chard and up to the A30, then to Dorchester on the A37 which is a good hour and a half diversion.”
Local sources say the man from Ryall is known to go wandering from time to time.
Anyone with any information that can help police is asked to contact 101.