A 74-year-old woman was injured and her dog was killed when a car hit them during their walk in Wallingford on Monday evening, and now a man claiming to be the driver who struck them wants to buy the victim another dog.
Police said the woman was walking her dog on North Turnpike Road (Route 150) in Wallingford when a car hit them both. The dog was dead when police arrived and the woman was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for serious injuries.
"All I heard was a loud thump," said Patrick Pawlik, who was working inside nearby Amore Apizza when he looked outside and saw the victims lying in the road.
Pawlik said he recognized the woman and her pet and had often seen them walking in the area, so he rushed over to help.
"The dog was dead, and I talked to her and she seemed OK. She was talking to me," said Pawlik. "She was worried about the dog mostly. Her hands were a little bloody, and she had a cut on her head."
The offending vehicle drove off, so police initially reported the collision as a hit-and-run, but police said the driver turned around and returned to the scene.
The road was shut down for hours after the accident, according to police.
A man, claiming to be the driver, said he didn't see the woman until it was too late and that she was standing by the yellow center lines. He said the collision sounded like he had hit a grocery cart.
The man said he panicked but had every intention of returning to the scene and drove around for 10 minutes trying to get back.
He told NBC Connecticut he felt terrible about what happened and wants to buy the woman another dog.
"The side mirror, it fell off, and it was in the middle of the road. You could tell the side mirror was off on the car, so you could tell it was that car," Pawlik said.
Police said the driver is cooperating and they haven't decided yet if he will face any charges, but the crash is no longer being considered a hit-and-run.
There's no word on the woman's condition.