Poole hit-and-run victim Christopher Colegate's family in plea

Photo of Christopher Colegate with his granddaughter taken six or seven years ago
Image caption Christopher Colegate, who lived in Poole, was described as frail and used two walking sticks

The family of a man who died after a hit-and-run crash in Poole said the driver must be "struggling to live" with what they have done.

Christopher Colegate, 69, was left fatally injured in Darby's Lane, at the junction of Heath Avenue, after the collision on 13 December.

His daughters Rachel Hayward and Tash Motton made an appeal during a press conference earlier.

Ms Motton said finding the driver would offer "a small crumb of comfort".

Mr Colegate, who lived in Poole, was described as frail and used two walking sticks.

He was on his way to the Oakdale Conservative Club when the crash happened.

'Net closing in'

"The driver could have gone to his aid or called for help but instead he only thought of himself, and selfishly fled the scene," Ms Hayward said.

Alongside her mother and Mr Colegate's wife, Freda, Ms Motton made a direct appeal to the driver.

"As hard as it is for our family, you must also be struggling to live with what you have done - what if it was your partner, your parent, your child?"

She added the family had been "really looking forward" to Christmas but said the season would now just be a reminder of what happened.

Image caption Mr Colegate was left fatally injured in the road at the junction of Darby's Lane and Heath Avenue

"Without dad there'll be an empty chair around the table on Christmas Day and unopened presents around the tree," she said.

A £1,000 reward has been offered by the Crimestoppers charity in return for information about the collision.

Police are trying to trace several potential witnesses.

Officers have urged the drivers of three vehicles seen in the area at the time of the crash to come forward - a silver or light coloured family saloon, a Honda Civic type vehicle and a grey, light or silver medium-sized vehicle.

They also said it is was likely the vehicle involved would have been damaged.

Appealing to the driver to come forward, Sgt Stuart Pitman said: "The net is closing in on you and we will find you."

An inquest into Mr Colegate's death was opened and adjourned at Bournemouth coroner's court on Tuesday.

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