Family prepare complaint over ‘lack of investigation’ into grandfather’s hit and run death

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A grief-stricken family is set to lodge a complaint over a “lack of investigation” into their father’s hit-and-run death.

Former soldier and cancer sufferer Dave Whitworth, 68, was struck by a vehicle as he crossed the road outside his home in Montrose Avenue, Luton, at 10pm on November 26.

The driver fled the scene, leaving the grandfather in the road unconscious with a broken hip, fractured cheekbone and deep cuts to his hands and knees.

After the collision Mr Whitworth’s health significantly declined and he died at home two months later on January 19.

Following an inquest into Mr Whitworth’s death, held in Ampthill yesterday, Beds Police investigators were criticised for their early attempts to bring the driver to justice.

Mr Whitworth’s son Neill told the Luton News: “We are unhappy that evidence seems to have been misplaced and there was a lack communication from the start.

“There has only been (communication) once they were advised of the inquest.

During the inquest PC Shona Gillen was asked if officers had contacted Luton Borough Council to ask for CCTV footage from the area around Montrose Avenue, before it was automatically wiped 28 days after the incident.

PC Gillen said that it was not made clear to her whether that had happened.

Following the inquest Neill Whitworth said: “We can assume they did not ask the council for the footage.”

At the time of the incident Mr Whitworth was suffering from terminal cancer and dementia with Lewy Bodies but still lived an active life.

He regularly went swimming and attended Alzheimer’s groups and singing classes.

However after the collision he was left bed bound and unable to move.

In a report Simon Hughes, of Dr SP Hughes and Partners in Barton-le-Clay, described Mr Whitworth’s condition as “clearly much worse” after the incident.

He added: “Dave was doing quite well until he had a fractured femur.

“He had some recognition of me but his dementia had declined.”

Senior coroner Tom Osborne, who recorded a narrative verdict, concluded that the collision was a “step change” in Mr Whitworth’s health.

Mr Whitworth’s wife Eileen told the inquest: “I would like to make it clear that Dave had a positive attitude to life and was living it to the full, as much as he could.”

She added that despite his dementia he “understood what had happened”.

Police continue to look for the driver involved in the incident.

A wing mirror was recovered at the scene and has indicated that the vehicle police are attempting to trace is a blue Renault Megane, Scenic or Clio.

Call 101 if you have any information about the collision.