A MANHUNT was under way for a hit-and-run driver after a schoolgirl died and two other people were badly hurt after being struck by a car.
Sophie Brannan, her ten-year-old friend and the friend’s uncle were hit by a black Vauxhall Astra which mounted the pavement in the Maryhill area of Glasgow. Sophie died in hospital yesterday sparking a major police hunt to find the man responsible.
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Her friend, who suffered serious head and leg injuries was still being treated at The Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill in Glagsow. The surviving girl’s uncle, 36, was being treated at the Western Infirmary. Neither have been named.
Detectives revealed the car had ploughed into the trio as they walked along Sandbank Street around 7.40pm on Friday when they were returning home after visiting local shops.
Shocked bystanders rushed to help and called the emergency services after the driver failed to stop and drove off from the scene before dumping the car in nearby Lochburn Street. He was last seen running towards a canal towpath, witnesses said.
Police Scotland last night refused to say whether or not they believed the car to be stolen. But officers claimed it would be “only a matter of time” before the perpetrator was tracked down.
Describing the incident as “horrific”, Police Scotland said they were studying CCTV footage and interviewing witnesses. The street remained cordoned off last night. Forensic teams were also understood to have inspected the abandoned car.
Detective Inspector Colin Hailstones, part of a large inquiry team, said: “This was a horrific incident. Sophie, her friend and her friend’s uncle, had been out to the local shops when the incident happened.
“Sandbank Street and Maryhill Road are very busy and there were a lot of people about, many of whom tried to help at the scene. We have spoken to them and a number of people who were in the area and are currently checking CCTV to identify the person responsible for this dreadful incident which has left her family devastated.
“The driver of the car is described as white, 25-35 years of age, of medium build and had short, shaven, hair.
“He was wearing a dark coloured jacket, dark denims and white trainers and was last seen running off towards the canal path after abandoning the car in Lochburn Street.
“Somebody out there knows who this person is and I would appeal to them to contact police about his whereabouts. I would also say to the man to hand himself in – it’s only a matter of time before we track him down.”
Hailstones asked anyone who may have been travelling in the area of Sandbank Street or Maryhill Road at the relevant time and who witnessed the incident to call 101 with information or to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.
Local football team Ruchill Black Star used their Twitter account to dedicate their win yesterday to Sophie’s memory, and called on the club’s supporters to contact police if they could help track down the driver.
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