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Mother of Melbourne hit-run victim urges driver to come forward

| 18.05,09. 05:23 AM |


Mother of Melbourne hit-run victim urges driver to come forward

AAPF

November 17, 2008 02:40pm


"I'LL see you at Christmas" were the last words Jennifer Ballinger heard her son utter before he was killed in a hit-and-run.

Police believe John Martin, 35, was walking along Melbourne's Western Highway about 12.30am (AEDT) yesterday when he was hit by car whose driver failed to stop.

Mr Martin was walking towards his Melton South home from his cousin's engagement party at the time.

The father-of-two was taken to the The Alfred hospital where he died during surgery.

Ms Ballinger has made made an emotional plea for the driver to come forward.

"We were all (at the party) having fun," she said.

"I just want (the driver) to come forward and tell me why he left the scene.

"His children need to know why... the mother of his children needs to know why."

She said Mr Martin's wife, from whom he was separated, was not coping, while his 10-year-old son "can't ask enough questions".

Her truck driver son was fit and often walked for miles, Ms Ballinger said.

"Once he got something in his head he would just do it."

Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Cripps said the car involved was a Toyota Landcruiser 100 series model from 1997 to 2005, with a smashed front driver's headlight.

"This is a bit unusual for a Landcruiser because of the design of the vehicle, headlight glass is quite thick and a substantial amount of force would be required to smash the headlight," he said.

"As a result of that investigators also believe the driver of this vehicle would be well and truly aware he had struck Mr Martin."

Police will use VicRoads records to locate the owners of Landcruisers of the type believed to be involved in the incident.