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October 7, 2002

Fatal crash rider hunt stepped up

From: Coventry News, UK Oct. 7, 2002

By Catherine Turnell

Police have turned up the heat in the search for a motorcyclist who fled after the hit-and-run death of a Coventry dad.

Officers are scrutinising hours of security camera footage in an effort to find the man who fled the scene in Eld Road, Edgwick, Coventry.

Ralph Potts, aged 55, was killed on Friday afternoon as he tried to protect his deaf five-year-old daughter Chloe, who had run across the road.

Despite pleas from the police and extensive media coverage, no one has come forward and today officers were looking at film from cameras in nearby streets taken between 4-5pm on Friday.

Investigating officer Sgt Kevin Doyle said a team of eight officers hope that will help trace the bike and its owner.

Police are also door knocking in Foleshill Road and other routes out of the city as part of the investigation.

An hour after he was hit by the motorcyclist, father-of-three Mr Potts died from his injuries at Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital.

A police liaison officer has been talking with Mr Potts's large extended family and his two grown-up children since the tragedy.

Sgt Doyle said: "It's a case that we've appealed to the driver's better nature, that hasn't worked, and we're now working on a long systematic trawl of tracing them through the CCTV cameras. There is not going to be a fast solution to this.

"We know the bike is damaged, we know the rider looked behind them after the collision. What they probably wouldn't have known until Saturday is that it caused a fatality.''

He said lots of CCTV footage from businesses and traffic cameras had been seized from cameras in the Foleshill and Edgwick areas. If police get a sighting they hope to work out the route the motorcyclist took.

Sgt Doyle added that Coventry shopkeepers and business owners can help police by going through footage taken from 4-5pm on Friday.

Coventry police say they do not know the make of motorcycle and aim to appeal through Crimestoppers - the anonymous police line - to encourage people who may know the identity of the rider to come forward.

Police are also waiting on findings of a crash reconstruction team from Birmingham brought in to work in tandem with Coventry officers.

Witnesses to the accident should call Stoney Stanton Road Police Station on 024 7653 9020 or 0845 113 5000, or Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.

© owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Plc 2002