Girl, 13, killed by 'hit-and run' driver

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The Independent Online
TWO PEOPLE were killed and one seriously injured by alleged hit-and-run drivers at the weekend. The youngest, a 13-year-old girl, died 10 days before her birthday.

Laura Hawkes was hit by a Ford Cortina while walking with a friend near her home in Bognor Regis, West Sussex. The Cortina was driven away and dumped in a nearby car-park as members of the public chased the occupants in vain.

Detectives said a man was later arrested and released on police bail in connection with the crash. A file was being prepared with a view to serious driving charges. No one else was being sought.

Her father Richard, 72, a retired Army major, yesterday told of the trauma of identifying Laura's body. 'We saw our little girl laid out at the hospital - she looked beautiful, like marble. She was not disfigured. It was harrowing.'

In Stretford, Manchester, a girl out celebrating her 19th birthday with friends was critically ill in hospital after being knocked down by a car carrying false number plates.

Greater Manchester Police said they were looking for the male driver of the vehicle which was being pursued by a police car.

Caroline Kent, from the Thornby area of Merseyside, suffered multiple injuries on Saturday night when the car struck her and failed to stop.

Police said the white Vauxhall Astra had been driven erratically and without lights. It went through two sets of traffic lights and on the wrong side of a dual carriageway. It was found abandoned.

A 30-year-old local man was arrested after Ann Wilkins, 47, was killed in an accident in Bitterne, Southampton, on Friday night.

He was released on police bail, while a file was prepared with a view to prosecution on serious driving offences.