Police are hunting a hit-and-run 4×4 driver who knocked down a 75-year-old man and left him to die in the street.
The victim, named locally as William Fenton, was found with fatal injuries in the road just 400 yards from his front door after he was hit on Saturday evening.
Police received reports of a man lying in Beakes Road, Smethwick, West Mids., at 9.30pm but it is believed he may have been lying there for up to THREE HOURS.
The pensioner, known as ‘Bill’ to friends, was rushed to hospital but died of multiple injuries a short time later.
Neighbours of Mr Fenton, who lived nearby in Astbury Avenue, say the pensioner was last seen taking an evening stroll at 6.30pm.
Friend Joan Thompson, 66, described him as a man who would help anybody with anything.
She said: “If you wanted any sugar or anything he would buy it bulk so he would always have some.
“He was a smashing bloke and I still can’t get over it.
“He was a nice person, we didn’t really know that much about him but he was just a nice chap and always friendly.
“We are still in shock.”
Another neighbour Mary Price, 67, added: “He was a quiet chap but he would do anything to help us.
“He used to go down to the shop every day for his newspaper and he would pick up the bargains before coming back and asking if we needed anything.”
Another friend, who called himself Arthur, said: “He loved going for a walk in the evening after his evening meal.
“It’s likely he went for a walk, got hit by a car and was left by the side of the road for hours.
“It’s terribly sad to think he could have spent his last few hours dying alone on a cold street.”
West Midlands Police are now hunting the driver of a large vehicle which ploughed into Mr Fenton.
Inspector Paul Bennett, from the Regional Collision Investigation Unit, said: “We have launched a major investigation to determine exactly what led to this elderly man’s death.
“At this stage we believe he has been struck by a large vehicle, possibly a 4×4 car or a van.
“Whoever was driving must have known they had hit a person but rather than stop to help, they left him in the road to die.
“The vehicle itself would have sustained collision damage and I want to hear from anyone who may have information that could lead us to the vehicle and driver involved.
“Have you seen a car or van parked in your neighbourhood with serious damage that isn’t usually there? If you have, call us on 101.
“I would also appeal to garage repairs owners to be wary of any vehicles that are brought in with a large amount of damage that the owner can’t explain.
“Please come forward if you think you can help, no matter how insignificant the information you have may seem.”
Mr Fenton’s family, who live in the south of England, have been informed and are currently being supported by specialist family liaison officers.
One floral tribute left at the scene read: “Thinking of you Bill. Rest in peace. Gone but never forgot. Love from friends and neighbours. God Bless.”