Hit-and-run driver still sought

OLIVIA CARVILLE
Last updated 14:38 01/01/2014
Debby Lange and Zeta
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DEVASTATED: Debby Lange saw her miniature schnauzer Zeta killed in a hit-and-run.

Funeral for hit-and-run dog
John Kirk-Anderson/Fairfax NZ
Debby Lange, assisted by her parents, Jim and Trish Lange, buries her dog, Zeta.

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A "distraught" Christchurch man who drove over a dying dog minutes after it had been involved in a hit-and-run thought he had driven over a pothole, police say.

The driver of the second car that hit five-year-old miniature schnauzer Zeta has come forward and provided police with "another part of the puzzle".

Debby Lange, 44, was walking her "baby" Zeta along Stanmore Rd on Monday evening when a car doing burnouts lost control, skidded across the road onto the footpath and hit Zeta.

The dog "went flying on to the road" and the vehicle stopped briefly before fleeing the scene, Constable Steve Sibley said.

"It looks like they assessed what happened and then decided 'sod it' and took off," he said.

Zeta was left lying on the road with life-threatening injuries when she was clipped by a second car in front of Lange.

Police publicly appealed for witnesses of the hit-and-run and the driver of the second car came forward yesterday.

"He didn't actually realise he had hit a dog, he felt a bump and thought he had hit a pothole, but when he read the news he put two and two together and was a bit distraught," Sibley said.

"He was scared he was going to be painted as the bad guy, but we explained to the driver that Zeta most likely had life-threatening injuries before he clipped her. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and is obviously not who we are after."

Lange held no blame to the second driver and felt "the first vehicle was what did the damage", Sibley said.

The first vehicle was a blue Holden Commodore travelling south along Stanmore Rd.

The second driver did not see the first vehicle and so far no witnesses to the hit-and-run had come forward, Sibley said.

"That first driver is the main person we want to talk to and obviously he hasn't had any conscience to come forward yet."

Members of the public have contacted police with sightings of a blue Holden Commodore, including one last night who saw a similar car doing burnouts in Hornby, but police are yet to speak to the driver.

Zeta was buried yesterday afternoon.

If you have information about the hit-and-run call Constable Steve Sibley on 021 1911 385 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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