Thursday 25 May 2017

Teen joggers who died after being hit by car named as promising athletes

(left to right) Alanna Goddard, 17, Hannah Jacobs, 18, Grace Jacobs,18, and Luke Wilton, 17, lay flowers at the scene in Queen's Avenue, Aldershot, where two teenage girls died after being struck by a car while jogging Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
(left to right) Alanna Goddard, 17, Hannah Jacobs, 18, Grace Jacobs,18, and Luke Wilton, 17, lay flowers at the scene in Queen's Avenue, Aldershot, where two teenage girls died after being struck by a car while jogging Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Floral tributes left at the scene in Queen's Avenue, Aldershot, where two teenage girls died after being struck by a car while jogging Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Ben Mitchell

Two teenage girls who died after being hit by a car driven by a soldier while out jogging have been named as two promising athletes.

The teenagers, both believed to be 17, were hit as they crossed a road in Aldershot, Hampshire, on Tuesday evening.

A 24-year-old man arrested in connection with the crash has been confirmed by the Army as a serving soldier.

The two victims have been named by team-mates at Aldershot, Farnham and District (AFD) Athletic Club as Lucy Pygott and Stacey Burroughs.

A jogger runs past police near the scene in Queen's Avenue, Aldershot, where two teenage girls died after being struck by a car while jogging Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A jogger runs past police near the scene in Queen's Avenue, Aldershot, where two teenage girls died after being struck by a car while jogging Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Hannah Jacobs, 18, told the Press Association: "They were very committed and motivated athletes, it's so tragic what has happened. They were always here, every single session, we would always see them around."

Her twin, Grace, added: "Everyone is shocked. My dad said his original thought was that a bomb has gone off, it was that loud."

Luke Wilton, 17, said: "They would represent the club nationally and for Hampshire. They were such admirable people, no matter what time of day, they would be racing, training, they would just be there getting on with it, they never squabbled.

"They were so bright, they had a bright future."

Alanna Goddard, 17, said: "They were very good runners, very enthusiastic, not a bad bone in their body, just lovely, lovely girls, both of them."

She added that the club stressed the importance to the runners of using the pedestrian crossing when crossing the road.

She said: "They were doing what the club said, they were using the crossing, it's drivers not being aware of their surroundings that is the problem."

The team-mates, who visited the crash scene to leave flowers, said that the victims were long-distance cross-country runners and were doing a warm-up run at the start of their training session.

A message of condolence left at the scene in Queen's Avenue, Aldershot, where two teenage girls died after being struck by a car while jogging Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A message of condolence left at the scene in Queen's Avenue, Aldershot, where two teenage girls died after being struck by a car while jogging Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Mr Wilton said that they were due to compete for the club at a competition in Spain next weekend.

He added that he saw the accident scene as he arrived at the club. He said: "I came round and saw two bodies just lying there motionless, it destroys you on the inside."

Well-wishers have left messages on social media, including Olympian Eilish McColgan, who posted on Twitter: "Awful news coming from Aldershot this morning. Thoughts go out to family, friends and fellow team mates at AFD."

Hampshire Constabulary said the girls were hit by a black Ford Focus on Queen's Avenue shortly after 7.10pm. The arrested driver remains in police custody for questioning.

An Army spokesman said: "I can confirm that he is a serving soldier held in connection with this incident."

A black Ford Focus was later seen being taken away from the scene on the back of a flatbed lorry.

A police spokesman said: "No-one else was hurt and inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances of what happened."

Specially-trained officers are supporting the girls' families.

Press Association

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