Truck driver fled after ploughing into Sue Ryder charity shop in Highcliffe
POLICE are hunting a pick-up truck driver who fled the scene after it smashed into the front of a Highcliffe charity shop following a road collision, leaving one person injured.
Witnesses and residents described their shock at the incident, which took place around 4.20pm yesterday (Monday).
People watched in horror as a black Ford Ranger 4x4 struck a stationary red Hyundai Kona before mounting the kerb and ploughing through the front window of the Sue Ryder store in Lymington Road.
The A&T understands the shop’s manager was hurt in the crash, but Dorset Police would confirm only this was a male member of the public who was in the area.
Paramedics treated the casualty, aged in his 40s, at the scene before taking him by ambulance to hospital. His injuries were described by police as “not believed to be life-threatening”.
A mother and daughter were also said to have been inside the stationary Hyundai when it was struck by the Ford and forced up onto the pavement, but no other injuries were reported.
Adrian Thorne, a partner at Pettengells Estate Agents, which is directly opposite Sue Ryder, saw the truck smash into the shop after hearing it strike the car seconds earlier.
“I heard a big bang and the slight sound of screeching brakes,” Mr Thorne told the A&T.
“I stood up and saw the truck mount the kerb and go straight through the shop window.
"I immediately called the ambulance and police. I’m told that nobody was trapped underneath and I’m hoping that was the case.
“The street was fairly busy when it happened, with a few people mingling around, but there was certainly no one right in front of the shop.”
Police blocked off the road while teams including four fire crews from Christchurch and New Milton worked at the scene.
Officers also carried out an investigation before the truck was recovered and they left the scene shortly before 8pm.
A force spokesperson said: “It was reported that the driver of the Ford Ranger had decamped from the vehicle and left the scene prior to police arrival.
“Enquiries to identify and locate the driver are ongoing.”
Members of the public took to social media to share their shock over the crash and send their best wishes to the injured man.
One wrote: “I’m hoping the store manager is OK. This could [have] been so much worse. This was in the afternoon. Usually this is when our children are coming home.”
Another posted: “The cost of putting the shop right on top of everything else... and when they’ve only just opened again.”
Those with information should contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting incident reference number 55210065349, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.