Husband tells court of holiday hit-and-run crash that killed his wife

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A HUSBAND told how he watched his wife get knocked over and killed by an alleged hit-and-run driver while they enjoyed a holiday together in Malta.

Maurice Whilems, 78, of Red House, Sunderland, told how the car that killed wife Elizabeth “came out of nowhere” before slamming into her and fleeing.

Mrs Whilems, also known as Betty, died after being hit on Sunday night in busy Qawra.

Mr Whilems, who had been travelling to the country with his wife for more than 40 years, told a court he was crossing the town’s main road with his wife in front of the hotel where they were staying.

He said three to four cars drove along the well-lit road before it was clear and they decided to cross.

But as they reached the middle of the road, his 77-year-old wife took a step ahead of him and he said there was a “burst of headlights” and a loud noise.

He told the court in Malta that the car was going so fast he did not even see it.

When he turned round he saw his wife’s body on the road.

Mr Whilems was taken to the hotel and checked over by medics, who gave him the devastating news his wife was dead.

Witness Brian Joseph Mortimer, of Liverpool, was sitting outside the Qawra Palace Hotel, when the smash took place.

He said the car was driving at an “erratic speed”.

Mel Spiteri, 18, of Birkirkara, denied the involuntary homicide of Elizabeth Tucknutt Whilems, failing to stop, driving without a licence and insurance, leaving the scene of a crime, failing to drive slowly near a zebra crossing and driving at an excessive speed when he appeared before a Maltese court.

Magistrate Myriam Hayman turned down a request for bail.

Mr Whilems, who was were in Malta with their daughter and son-in-law, was due home last night but will return for a court hearing on July 28.

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