Friday, 24 September 2021

Charity's car damaged in hit and run

A CAR used to help transport terminally ill patients has been damaged in a hit and run accident.

A CAR used to help transport terminally ill patients has been damaged in a hit and run accident.

The Vauxhall Astra, which belongs to Sue Ryder at Nettlebed, was parked in Berkshire Road, Henley, when it was struck at 2.50am on Sunday.

Its rear bumper and a light and side panel on the driver’s side were damaged and the parking sensors no longer work properly.

The noise of the impact woke up Tracey Hancock, head of fund-raising at the charity, who had taken the car home overnight.

The three-year-old metallic blue car has Sue Ryder branding on the rear and both sides.

Mrs Hancock said she was woken by a loud bang and when she went out to investigate later that morning there was glass and debris “all over the road.”

She said: “I had leave the house at 7.30am on Sunday because I was picking up the rest of the team as we were going to the Reading half marathon where we had 60-plus runners.

“There was smashed glass all over the road from the light and the body work was splintered.

“These things happen but to have driven off without leaving a note or contact details is awful.

“The driver would have been left in no doubt that they had hit the car as the force was loud enough to wake me up and the damage to the car is substantial.

“It makes me very angry and also very sad as the car is so clearly branded and it will have a direct impact on the people we are here to help.”

The car is used to transport patients to and from the hospice for day care and is used by the fund-raising team when they need to go out on events or visits. Now staff are having to use their own cars and alternative arrangements are being made for patients.

The car, which was donated to the charity by Select Contracts for a year, is now at the hospice waiting for Aviva, the charity’s insurance company, to assess the damage and organise repairs.

Ms Hancock says that if the offender did not come forward the charity would have to pay the repair bill.

“We are going to incur a substantial bill,” she said. “We have a commercial car policy and we have to pay a fee the same as anyone else.”

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