Beloved family dog dies after 'hideous' crash

A HEARTBROKEN elderly couple have told of their devastation after a beloved family pet was killed in an horrific car collision in Alnwick.

Audrey and Ralph Hills, of Westfield Road, Berwick, have revealed they are "bereft" at the death of their 15-year-old miniature dachshund, Bracken, who was like a child to them.

The tragedy occurred on Friday, September 11, when 76-year-old Mr Hills was hit by a black Audi A4 in St Michael's Lane. He had been carrying companion Bracken in his arms when the pair were struck.

The helpless dog had to be put down after sustaining terrible injuries, including broken legs and a broken pelvis, while Ralph, who has battled cancer in the past, endured skin damage and bruising to his hands and elbows.

Mrs Hills, 77, admitted the pair are now on medication to help them get over the shock and have struggled to eat and sleep since the fatal incident.

She said: "My husband is so far making a reasonable recovery from his injuries, but we are bereft at the loss of our beloved Bracken. It is very, very sad. He was a tiny dachshund. He was nearly blind and he could hardly walk."

The pair have kept miniature dachshunds for around 40 years.

"We have no children, the dogs were our children. Bracken was our last," she added.

The incident – described by police as 'hideous' – happened around midday.

Mrs Hills said: "We parked in St Michael's Lane and my husband got out of the car first.

"He carried the dog to the bottom of the lane. Next thing I heard was the sound of my dog in pain and my husband was lying on the ground. It was awful."

She thanked members of the public who came to their aid, as well as PC Mick Donkin for his "professionalism and continuing kindness" towards the pair.

Police are now looking into the case and are urging the public to get in touch.

Inspector Sue Peart said: "We are appealing for information from anybody who saw what happened. The public hold the key to this."

Contact 08456 043043 or email alnwick.npt@northumbria.pnn.police.uk