A hit-and-run driver who left a young mum dying in a Midland street in the early hours of Mother's Day is being hunted by police.The boyfriend of 25-year-old victim Leanne Moore yesterday choked back tears as he talked about the love of his life.
Lee Willoughby, also 25, of Teme Road, Colley Gate, Cradley, Halesowen, said he and Leanne had known each other since nursery school. He said they had been in a relationship for six years and had a baby together, nine-month-old Sophie.
Lee said: "Leanne was a popular girl - no-one had a bad word to say about her. We had been drinking together in The Widders pub in Barrack Lane, Colley Gate, and were walking home when a car mounted the pavement and struck Leanne.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet that she is dead. I can't believe I won't see Leanne again," he added.
Leanne died in hospital after being struck by the car, which may have been stolen, early on Sunday in Barrack Lane, off Park Road, Cradley. Debbie French, licensee of The Widders, said yesterday Leanne had been carried along on the bonnet of the car for 50 yards before being thrown clear.
The car careered out of control after the collision, ploughing into a fence, a wall and another car before coming to rest. All three occupants ran away from the scene.
Leanne and Lee had been drinking in The Widders moments before tragedy struck at 12.20am. Debbie, aged 42, said Leanne had just said goodnight to two female friends in a taxi when the accident happened.
"Leanne and her boyfriend Lee are regulars here, they come in on a Friday and Saturday night and play darts in the back room.
"Leanne had ordered a Chinese meal which was delivered to the pub and was walking home with Lee when the accident happened."
Mrs Wendy Rose, aged 52, of Barrack Lane, said she was in bed when she heard a loud bump.
"I looked out of the window and saw a police car going past. Then I looked out again and saw a woman lying in the road."
Police said yesterday it was believed three people were inside the car, a black Rover 800, when the accident happened. A police spokesman said everyone in the car fled the scene before emergency services arrived.
The vehicle involved had been seen in "suspicious circumstances" a short time earlier by police, who had attempted to follow in a marked police car. But the spokesman stressed yesterday that there was no pursuit taking place at the time of the collision.
The circumstances of the accident and the police involvement in the tragedy have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Police investigations into the tragedy are continuing.
Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to contact CID at Brierley Hill on 0845 1135000.