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IT WAS THE ONLY ROAD THEY HAD TO CROSS; Man charged after hit-and-run kills 3.

Byline: By James Moncur and Ian Dow

IT WAS the only road the families had to cross on their way home from a Sunday disco dancing class.

But seconds after stepping on to Minto Crescent in Glenrothes yesterday, a mum and two children lay dead.

And the driver who hit them sped off, leaving the bodies lying in the street.

Police said the motorist mounted the pavement, before veering back on to the road.

Neighbours told yesterday of the terrible sound that split the calm of a Sunday morning as the car ploughed through the group of parents and children.

Ann Martin, 39, her daughter Ashley, eight, and five-year-old Ross Sneddon died instantly.

Their friend and neighbour Michelle Sneddon, 30, Ross's mum, and a two year-old girl were also struck and injured.

Last night, the tearful grandad of the young boy, Norrie Sneddon, said: 'We can't believe this has happened. Every time I shut my eyes I see little Ross's face.

'It was like every other Sunday, his mum and little sister had gone with Ann and Ashley to a disco-dancing class.

'The road where they were killed was the only one they had to cross on their way there.'

The car, an R registration, metallic-blue Vectra, struck Ashley first, then Ross and finally Ann.

Police were last night unable to say if the victims had been hit on the pavement, or while crossing.

The vehicle was found nearby, outside the neighbouring houses of the families now united in tragedy.

Its headlights, bonnet and windscreen were smashed and the left rear tyre was flat.

The alleged driver understood to be local father-of-one Dean Martin, no relation to the dead woman was later arrested and charged by police in connection with the incident.

He is expected to appear in court today. The tragedy happened just after 11 am. Neighbours who rushed from their houses to help looked out on a scene of horror, with the bodies lying on the pavement and roadway just a few hundreds yards from the community centre they left moments earlier.

David Ritchie was one of the first people on the scene.

The 16-year-old said: 'I heard a horrible sound. The car hit the wee girl first, then the wee boy and it veered across the road and hit a woman.

'I saw the wee lassie and a woman lying in the road and just a bit further up the road there was a wee boy with blood gushing out of a cut on his head.

'There was another woman lying on the road and covered in blood. There was no sign of the car that hit them.

'It was absolutely horrible. The woman and the little boy were lying dying in the road. It's something I'll never forget.'

The car had disappeared, leaving a trail of water from its smashed radiator.

The water marked a curved path veering across a junction on to Roxburgh Road for several hundred yards.

Police sealed off the street as they investigated the accident. Yellow evidence markers lay on the road next toskid marks, shattered glass and damaged railings.

White sheets covered the bodies of the three victims.

Yesterday, locals were trying to come to terms with the horrific accident which devastated two families who lived side by side in the same street.

Last night, grieving grandad Norrie described his family's heartache.

Fighting back tears, the 58-year-old electrician said Ross's father, Andrew, had heard of the crash before realising his family were involved.

He added: 'Andrew thought there was something far wrong and had been on the point of phoning the police but he never imagined that his own son had been killed.'

Norrie said Ross had been looking forward to his sister Charlotte's birthday party today, adding: 'He had just started at Southfield Primary School and was thriving there.

'Ross enjoyed reading and writing and playing with model trains and planes. We will never forget him.'

Police forensic experts sealed off the area where the car was parked beside the homes of the victims -and carried out a detailed examination.

Norrie added: 'I hate the sight of that damned thing, I wish they'd just take it away. When I look at it, I think of the lives that have been lost and the others that have been wrecked.'

The grandad confirmed that Ross's father, Andrew, saw the Vectra turn into the cul-de-sac outside their house. He said his son was now at his wife's bedside in Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline Last night, Ann's family were too upset to talk.

Neighbours placed floral tributes and messages of sympathy at the scene.

A spokesman for Fife Police said last night: 'A Vauxhall Vectra struck a 39--year-old woman, an eight-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy. They were fatally injured.

'A two-year-old and another woman were slightly injured and were taken to Queen Margaret Hospital, in Dunfermline.

'I can also confirm the vehicle did not stop at the scene of the incident.

'A 23-year-old male was arrested in connection with the incident and will be appearing at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Monday.'

l A DAD was killed and his daughter left fighting for her life after their car smashed into a tree.

The 37-year-old man was driving the Vauxhall Astra in Drybridge, Ayrshire, yesterday afternoon when it left the road.

His 12-year-old daughter was last night critically ill and being treated for head injuries at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital.

The driver died soon after the crash on Shewalton Road.

Strathclyde Police said there were no other vehicles involved in the tragedy.

CAPTION(S):

GRIEVING: Grandad Norrie; GRIEF-STRICKEN: Grim-faced officers at the scene of the accident in Minto Crescent and, left, one of the moving messages left nearby by friends and neighbours; SHATTERED LIVES: Little Ross, pictured top with his sister Charlotte, who was not involved in the accident, is believed to have been hit by the car above. Above right, a lone training shoe lies in the road after the smash
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 16, 2004
Words:997
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