Appeal to trace hit and run driver

A WOMAN feared she was going to die after she was struck by a hit and run driver on the A21 at Robertsbridge.

Mary Chapman was left laying face down in pool of blood after she was hit by a van as she stood on a grass verge waiting to cross the road.

Mary, 31, had been out for a run and was returning home to the traveller site in Redlands Lane just after 4.45pm on Tuesday November 15.

As she jogged on the spot on the grass verge, she looked to her left to check for traffic.

When she turned to look right, she saw the van heading straight for her.

Mary told the Observer: “I saw the van coming towards me and that’s when I knew I was going to get hit.

“I was hit on the face and chest and thrown into the hedge.

“From that point I was pretty knocked out.”

The impact broke the van’s wing mirror off and driver was seen to brake briefly before continuing north up the A21.

The collision was witnessed by two of Mary’s cousins, who were in a vehicle waiting to turn right into Fair Lane.

She said: “He saw and heard the accident.

“I just remember waking up and my cousin did not realise it was me at first.

“Then it was all frantic and panicky.”

Instead of waiting for an ambulance, concerned relatives drove Mary straight to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings.

Mary needed a number of stitches on the left side of her face and was left with extensive bruising and swelling all over her arm and chest.

The accident has left her unable to use her left arm and doctors fear she may also have fractured ribs and will need further x-rays after the swelling has gone down.

Mary has found it difficult to sleep since the incident.

She said: “I went to see the doctor about not sleeping and she gave me strong painkillers.

“I keep getting flashbacks. Night times are the worst.”

Mary has lived on the traveller site all her life and has regularly jogged down the A21 since the age of 15.

She was wearing reflective clothing when the accident happened.

Mary said: “If my cousin had not seen it, I would have been left there unconscious.

“I would have been in a much worse condition now, and that’s if I had survived.

“I would have been left there to die.

“And that driver still does not know whether I did live or die.”

The van is described as a white Ford Transit, with signage down the side, and at the time of the accident, ladders and a storage box were strapped to the roof.

A yellow car was seen near the scene of the accident, and police believe the driver may hold vital clues in helping identify the van driver.

PC Richard Brand, of Sussex Police Road Policing Unit, said: “Crashes on the A21 have reduced over the years.

“However when a driver leaves the scene of a collision, the driver has no idea about what injuries they have caused to the pedestrian.

“It could have been so much worse.”

PC Brand appealed for any witnesses to call him on 101, quoting serial 1163 of November 15.