A COUPLE has been overwhelmed with support from the local community after the sudden loss of their beloved dog.

Joshua and Brooke Stokes want to thank everyone for their comforting words following the fatal accident.

Irene, a lurcher, died yesterday after being hit by a car in Middlewich.

The nine-month-old puppy was with a dog walker when the accident happened at around 10am in Sycamore Road.

At first it was feared that the driver did not stop but he has now come forward and explained what happened.

Owner Joshua Stokes said: "We've now spoken to the driver that hit her. He was gutted, a very nice bloke. It appears that he did return but our dog walker didn't realise as she was in a state of panic. He did drive further up the road after hitting her but only to turn round and come back.

"He did stop with her and he's absolutely not to blame. He's told me where she ran out and there was absolutely no way he could've avoided her."

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Joshua has managed to trace the man who took Irene to Middlewich Veterinary Surgery in a pick-up and thank him for his kindness.

"We want to thank him again and the vets who have been brilliant," said Joshua, who has another lurcher called Mabel.

"Irene was one in a million, an absolute belter of a dog.

"We want to thank the whole community for their support. A lot of people have come forward with condolence messages and wished us well.

"The driver definitely wasn't to blame."