Hit-and-run victim thought she was ‘going to die’

Natasha Colin's fingers were broken in the hit-and-run incident. Picture supplied with consent of Natasha's mother Lianne Ritchie. She also supplied pictures of Natasha's knee injury, but these were too graphic to publish.
Natasha Colin's fingers were broken in the hit-and-run incident. Picture supplied with consent of Natasha's mother Lianne Ritchie. She also supplied pictures of Natasha's knee injury, but these were too graphic to publish.

Brave teenager Natasha Colin said she thought she was ‘going to die’ after being struck by a car in a hit-and-run incident.

According to police the collision occurred in Vancouver Road, Durrington, close to the junction with Montreal Way, at around 9.40pm on Monday, May 2.

Lianne Ritchie and her daughter Natasha Colin, who was injured in a hit and run accident when she was riding her bike. Picture: Kate Themilt

Lianne Ritchie and her daughter Natasha Colin, who was injured in a hit and run accident when she was riding her bike. Picture: Kate Themilt

The 16-year-old from Whitebeam Road, Durrington, was cycling down Vancouver Road after visiting friends when she was hit by what police believe to be a white Ford car with blue racing stripes.

The driver sped away from the scene, leaving her bleeding on the road.

Natasha said: “I thought I was going to die. I literally just thought ‘That’s it then, it’s over’. I was very lucky.”

After being walked home by a resident, Natasha was taken to Worthing Hospital and treated for broken fingers, severe bruising and a serious cut on her knee.

The person who did this is a coward. It’s so selfish. If they’re still driving like that other people are at risk

Natasha Colin

“My knee is missing a massive chunk of flesh. They wouldn’t stitch it up at the hospital because so much is missing that it would make the skin too tight,” she said.

Natasha, who is in Year 11 at Durrington High School, sat her English GCSE exam the next day despite her injuries and not getting to sleep until 5am.

As well as potentially affecting her final grades, Natasha has had to pull out of a charity mud run on May 29 which she was going to complete with her mum Lianne Ritchie.

They are raising money for Palatine Primary School, a special needs school where Lianne works.

Natasha has also had to postpone a birthday trip to Thorpe Park.

Since the collision, Lianne, 40, said her daughter has been having recurring nightmares and has started sleep-talking about the car that hit her.

Natasha said: “A car went over a drain this morning and I started crying, the sound of it completely shook me up.

“The person who did this is a coward. It’s so selfish. If they’re still driving like that other people are at risk.”

Natasha also wanted to thank the man, named Ben, who walked her home with her broken bike. “I’m so grateful because not many people would do that for an absolute stranger.”

Lianne urged the driver to hand themselves in to the police. “How would they feel if it was their child or someone they cared about? Someone must know the person who did this – they couldn’t keep it to themselves.”

Police are still investigating the incident, but no arrests have been made.

Witnesses should email collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk or phone 101, quoting serial 1424 of 02/05.

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