Victim of fatal collision named as Sheila Karsberg - one of Hampstead Heath’s best-loved characters.
- Credit: Archant
Heath dog walkers today paid tribute to dog owner Sheila Karsberg who was tragically killed after being hit by a cement mixer in Camden High Street.
Sheila, 79, was a regular fixture walking her beloved dog Milly Snowflakes around Hampstead Heath and carrying a teddy with her.
The pensioner, who used to sit on a bench outside the Parliament Hill Cafe, loved to stop and talk to other dogwalkers and children.
Sheila starred in a BBC documentary Wonderland: Walking with Dogs filmed on the Heath two years ago in which she spoke of her love for Milly saying she meant “the whole world” to her.
Heath users are now calling for a memorial bench in her name outside the Parliament Hill Cafe where she would regularly sit.
Lucinda Langford, who lives on the Holly Lodge Estate, said: “We called her Milly Snowflake because that was the name of her beloved dog.
“I’d see her several times a month usually at the C2 bus stop or sometimes outside Kalendar Cafe in Swains Lane.
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“She always started up a conversation.
“Milly Snowflake, who was fed peach yoghurt for breakfast, was lucky to have an owner who took her on from a dogs home.”
Sadly Sheila’s dog Milly died around last Christmas.
Mrs Langford said: “When Milly died she took her ashes back to the home. I knew how much she cared. I knew others cared for her. Every month or so she’d have a different outer jacket on.”
After her beloved dog’s death, Sheila wasn’t seen on the Heath for a while raising concerns among many dog walkers that something had happened to her.
But then weeks later she returned with her signature teddy.
Mrs Langford said: “Without Milly, her teddy became her signature feature. We had a chat one day about how the teddy had a Marie Curie daffodil.
“She was 110 per cent part of our community. I’ll miss her. It’s only today that I learnt her name.”
Michaela Shelton, of Dartmouth Park, said: “Such sad news. She has got to have a bench dedicated to her now outside the Parliament Hill Cafe.”
Sheila’s next of kin are still being sought by police to make a formal identification.
Following the collision, she was pronounced dead at the scene in Pratt Street close to the junction with Camden High Street shortly after paramedics and police were called at around 9.40am on Tuesday.
Eyewitnesses say she had collapsed or passed out as she crossed the road before being run over.
Police said the driver of the lorry stopped at the scene.