The granddaughter of a woman killed in a fail-to-stop collision in St Albans has spoken on camera as part of a re-appeal for information, as investigating officers release details of the type of vehicle they believe is involved.
Rhianne Liddle-Spayne, aged 23, talks about the devastating effect losing her nan, 76-year-old Barbara Liddle (pictured), has had on her and her family.
Mum-of-two Barbara was crossing the road outside her home on Camp Road just before 8.20pm on Thursday, September 28, 2017, when she was struck by a vehicle, causing fatal injuries.
An investigation was launched by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Serious Collision Investigation Unit (BCH SCIU) but despite extensive enquiries and two previous public appeals for information, the exact vehicle that struck Barbara has yet to be identified.
However, officers now have reason to believe the vehicle involved is a black Vauxhall Zafira.
Sergeant James Thorne, from the BCH SCIU, said: “Barbara’s family have had to go yet another Christmas and another birthday without knowing who is responsible for her death. I want to pay tribute to the dignity and bravery they have shown since that night in September 2017.
“As part of the ongoing investigation we are now in a position to share some new information with the public, and that is that we believe the vehicle involved was a black Vauxhall Zafira.
“Therefore I would ask people to cast their minds back to the time around September and October 2017. Did one of your friends or family members act strangely or seem distressed by something that had happened? Did they have unexplained damage to the front of their vehicle?
“I would also ask those who work in garages and car repair workshops to think about whether they repaired a black Vauxhall Zafira with front end damage around the time of the collision.
“This vehicle could be local to St Albans or the rest of Hertfordshire, or it could belong to someone who was travelling through the town on that evening.”
“My team have shown great dedication to investigating this collision but we are still missing a vital piece of the puzzle. The driver of the Vauxhall is out there somewhere. If they are reading this, I would urge them to think of Barbara’s family and hand themselves in. Please, do the right thing.”
Barbara’s son Kevin Donaghey-Liddle said: “This was a tragic event for all of the family and mum’s friends too. It doesn’t make sense to any of us how the driver of that car can go on knowing they have destroyed the lives of others.
“How can they continue going about their daily lives knowing what they did and have no remorse for it? There are some truly messed up people out there but if there’s any justice in the world, he or she will come forward and put an end to our grief and at least give us some closure.
“The police have been absolutely brilliant and worked so hard to get a description of the car. They went through hours of CCTV in the months following the incident and followed many leads. The family liaison team were also excellent and helped us through the most difficult time of our lives. We are sincerely grateful to all involved.
“There are people out there with knowledge of this incident. If you have any information whatsoever, no matter how small or irrelevant you think it might be, please come forward so we can finally lay our Mum/Nan to rest with some dignity.”
Barbara’s daughter Sharon Liddle said: “The last year and a half has been very lonely without my mum. We were extremely close and someone out there has taken her away. They have shown no regard for her or us, and they’ve stayed away knowing what they did. Our family will always miss her. It’s been tough and we just want justice so we can try and get a bit of closure. If anyone knows anything please, do the right thing and come forward.”
Any witnesses or anyone with information should contact police by calling 101, reporting information online at www.herts.police.uk/Report or speaking to an operator in our Force Communications Room via online web chat, quoting Operation Canton.
Online web chat can be launched here herts.police.uk/Information-and-services/About-us/Contact
You can also call the non-emergency number 101, and ask for Herts Police.
Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.