On Friday 26 September, driving from Suffolk to work in Byron, the car in front of me came to a stop just up from Byron Community School because two dogs, which I assumed had escaped a backyard, were running confused and skitterish in front of two lanes of traffic.
I waited until the woman, who I assumed was the owner of the dogs, had got hold of them by their collars, and then we would proceed.
There was the possibility of being 57 seconds late for work, but waiting was absolutely the only thing to do.
But no. Some people stress over losing that 57 seconds of their precious time, and the car in front of me started to drive away before the dog was held and the dog dashed back out and, to everyone’s horror, the car ran over the dog. And took off.
It was so horrific. I went into shock and screamed out to call the vet in case the dog was still alive and the woman was sobbing and blood-spattered and said ‘I’m not even the owner! I only stopped to help!’
I was shaking too badly to call on my cell phone so I drove to work two minutes away to ask a colleague to dial the police and I asked them to help out that traumatised woman and get help for the dog.
My colleague’s husband went over to the scene as I had to teach and the dog had mercifully died and wasn’t suffering. All weekend all I could think was that it did not need to happen.
If that driver hadn’t been so impulsive and just waited until the dog had been held down.
The week leading up to this I had been truly shocked by how fast everyone seemed to be driving and to rebel, I stopped to let every bike and pedestrian cross the road.
People, cyclists and wildlife crossing roads, dogs who’ve escaped backyards and cats who get out of homes, need drivers to watch out for them.
What the f**k is the rush? If you need to drive like you’re in a big city, go live in one. But this is a small town and I hope tourists and locals can remember the fact that the car they’re driving is a weapon of mass destruction and the unnecessary brutality of that hit and run really traumatized all who witnessed it.
I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved pet. And I’m so sorry that caring young woman, who was just trying to do the right thing, had to be on the scene of such a barbaric act.
SLOW DOWN. CHILL OUT. And let’s bring courtesy and kindness back to the roads in this shire. And check your fences so your dogs are safe while you’re at work.
Andrea Darvill, Suffolk Park