A 70-year-old woman was fighting for her life today after being knocked down – by a stolen getaway DIGGER.
Mother-of-three Kirby Hamill, 70, suffered multiple head injuries after she was hit by the three-tonne vehicle.
She had been walking near her home when the stolen digger ploughed into her and knocked her into a ditch and rushed to hospital and remains in a critical condition.
The hit-and-run thief escaped in the stolen digger after the incident in the village of Clipsham, in Rutland, Leics.
Police today released an e-fit of the skin-headed thief who stole the vehicle from the nearby Clipsham Quarry last Sunday afternoon.
Mrs Hamill’s distraught son Stephen, 42, today blasted the thief who ”left her for dead in a ditch.”
He sobbed: ”I can understand people steal things and that accidents happen, but I cannot comprehend how someone could knock down a 70-year-old woman and leave her for dead in a ditch.
”My mother is a strong and courageous woman and she will come through this, although it will be a long drawn-out process.
”The person who did this to her also comes from a community and someone there will know something about what has happened.”
Mrs Hamill’s husband of more than 40 years, Jack, 73, is being comforted by family and friends while his wife is treated at Coventry’s University Hospital.
The bright yellow digger had been spotted by villagers who called police to report its erratic driving.
But the stolen vehicle, a yellow Mattbro Tele Handler, was unable to be tracked.
Police now believe that the digger may have been hidden in surrounding countryside and urged landowners to look for it.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Castle, of Leicestershire Police, said: ”We have received a number of calls from members of the public and are following up any possible leads.
”This was a horrific incident which could have been far worse had Mrs Hamill not been discovered when she was.”
Officers also want to trace a red van, possibly a Ford Escort, which was seen in the area around the time of the theft.
The driver of the van has been described as white, middle aged, stocky, with dark hair.
His passenger is believed to be white, younger than the driver and with dark hair.