Hit-and-run OAP dies in Malta

The road in Qawra resort
The road in Qawra resort
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A PENSIONER was killed by a hit-and-run driver while on holiday with her family in Malta.

Elizabeth Whilems, 77, of Sunderland, was with her husband and daughter on the island when she was hit and killed by a car on Sunday night.

The pensioner and her husband had gone for a walk and were returning to their hotel in Qawra resort when the accident happened.

As they were crossing the main road in front of their hotel, in the north east of the island, a Mitsubishi FTO hit her at about 11.35pm.

It is understood that she was killed instantly. The vehicle then fled the accident scene without stopping.

CCTV from homes, hotels and other businesses on the stretch of road is being analysed by forensic experts.

Magistrate Giovanni Grixti has launched an inquiry into the death.

The incident has shocked residents, who said the busy road has been an accident waiting to happen for years.

Franco Frenech said: “The crash happened at about 11.30pm and there were police and other services there until about 2am investigating the scene and moving the body.

“It’s a very busy bit of road here and there is very bad lighting. The authorities have been warned many times it’s a dangerous road and here is the proof.”

Graham Holme said: “It’s a wonder incidents like this are not more frequent.

“Condolences to family and friends of the deceased.”

Monica Muscat said: “Sad indeed to go for a holiday to a country known for the kindness and friendliness of the people and to lose your life at the hands of a hit-and-run driver.”

Police found the car near the village of Lia, 12km away, yesterday morning.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We can confirm the death of a 77 year-old British national, Elizabeth Whilems, in a hit-and-run incident in Malta on June 26.

“Next of kin are aware and we are offering consular assistance.”

l An 18-year-old from Birkirkara was later arrested in connection to the incident. He was due to appear in court today.