A TEENAGER has pleaded for drivers to slow down in the New Forest after his pregnant donkey was killed in a hit-and-run crash.
Ten-year-old Sooty was killed by a Land Rover Defender that is thought to have been doing at least 60mph in a 40mph zone.
She ended up about 140ft from the point of impact following the crash, which also killed her unborn foal.
Organisations representing animal owners in the Forest are offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the driver.
Sooty suffered horrific injuries in the accident – described as one of the most gruesome seen in the area for years. She was owned by Dan Rangecroft, 14, of Marchwood, who bought her to replace another donkey killed on the roads.
Dan Rangecroft and his mother Sarah
Now Dan and his mother Sarah are urging drivers to cut their speed and prevent more carnage. Sarah said: “I was very distressed when I heard what had happened. I can’t believe that the person responsible just drove off and didn’t bother to report it.”
It is one of five hit-and-runs in the Forest this month.
Sarah said: “Sooty was killed outright but many animals survive the initial impact, albeit with serious injuries. Drivers should pick up the phone, not just leave their victims to suffer.”
Fellow animal owner Richard Deacon added: “This was one of the most gruesome scenes I’ve ever witnessed.”
The donkey was killed last Sunday on the B3078 Brook to Godshill road – one of the worst routes in the Forest for livestock collisions.
The crash, being investigated by police, was raised at the Court of Verderers in Lyndhurst and sparked gasps of dismay from people in the public gallery. Clerk to Verderers Sue Westwood said: “This was a particularly nasty accident. The blood and unborn foal found on the road indicate that the victim was hit extremely hard by a vehicle travelling at some speed.
“We know the vehicle was a Land Rover Defender 90 or 110 because we’ve found the vehicle’s badge and bits of trim. The driver hasn’t reported the accident and we’d like to hear from anyone with information that might lead to him or her being identified.”
The £1,000 reward is being offered by the Verderers and Commoners’ Defence Association.