July 23 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
A cash-strapped teacher whose car was damaged by a hit-and-run motorist is appealing for the culprit to come forward and pay for the repairs.
Mum-of-two Emma Jones was in Hampstead for a charity run when her car was scraped by a 4x4 outside the Freemasons Arms in Downshire Hill on Saturday (July 5).
Her daughters, aged 10 and 13, and two 13-year-old friends were sheltering from rain in her Mercedes when a silver Audi Q7 attempted to squeeze past at about 10.30am – lifting her car into the air.
Ms Jones, who had popped away for a few minutes to buy a coffee, says the four girls leapt out of the car in terror as it tilted up off the ground.
“They were really scared and jumped out onto the pavement,” she said.
“The driver did stop his car and come back to check on the children – but then he drove off.
“When I returned I was relieved that the children were okay, but when I checked the car, the driver’s door was buckled and now it won’t close properly.”
The secondary school English teacher says she can ill afford to lose her no claims bonus or pay the estimated £1,000 repair bill.
The 48-year-old, who has five years of no claims, believes the driver may not have noticed the damage.
She said: “I am a teacher and I can’t possibly afford it.
“I’m hoping he might come forward and claim on his insurance, or someone might know who he is, because he may not have known that he did it.
“I’m not looking for him to be arrested or anything like that. He was not moving fast, he was just too close.”
Ms Jones, who lives in Shepherd’s Bush and teaches at an academy in Chiswick, and the four girls were running the five kilometre Race for Life on Hampstead Heath in aid of Cancer Research UK.
They joined the fundraiser because a friend of the teacher’s 10-year-old daughter Ria has a rare form of eye cancer, while the same girl’s mother is undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer.
She added: “It clouded the day for us really, although we raised about £300 and the atmosphere on the run was great.”
The man was described by the girls as being American with blond hair and aged about 30.
He or anyone who knows him can reach Ms Jones by contacting the Ham&High newsdesk on 020 7433 0000.