'We did not want any other family to suffer the same grief': Family launch petition after tragic death of dog, Darcy

A family has launched a petition to get proper fencing up on the A1 after their much loved pet, Darcy, was killed on the motorway.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 4:45 pm

Derek Hornsey, 59, was walking the family dog at Meadow Mill sports ground near Tranent.

He explained: “Darcy must have caught the scent of something and ran up the side of the underpass tunnel.

"I had recalled her about 3 times, and she had not returned to me.

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A family launched a petition after the death of their much loved dog.

"I had soon realised she was missing.

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"I then noticed she had made her way up onto the short section of the underpass where the A1 runs overhead.

"I then looked for her franticly at the side entrance to the tunnel not truly realising how close I was to the bypass.

"I started to panic as I could not see her anywhere and saw that the existing wooden fence was all broken and the bypass was clearly accessible.

"At this time the accident had already occurred as I seen Darcy was lying across the other side of the A1 Bypass.

"She was obviously spooked or frightened as cars had stopped on my side of the road.

"I could see that Darcy had run across the other side of the bypass when she was hit.”

Darcy was killed outright by a car that did not stop after the hit.

At this time, a vet was passing in her car, and pulled over to get out and help.

She wrapped Darcy in a blanket and took her to the village vet nearby in Longniddry.

Derek continued: “This accident would have been prevented if there had been a proper fence in place around the area of the tunnel to stop dogs or young kids having access.

"There is a secure fence for the trainline across the other side of Meadow mill yet there is nothing to stop access onto a 70 mile an hour motorway. I ask myself what’s the difference?”

Derek’s devastated family decided to take action, with his daughter Demi launching a petition to get a proper fence built to prevent this tragedy happening to anyone else.

The 18-year-old explained: “I don’t want to impart the blame onto anyone as it was an unfortunate situation, however, had there been a fence then it is difficult to imagine a scenario where Darcy would’ve ended up on the bypass.

"I started the petition to try and prevent anyone else going through the same heartache my family has.

"The reaction was wholly overwhelming, with so many people offering their support, kind comments and sympathies.”

The family also contacted local councillor Colin McGinn to help.

Demi added: “ He visited the site, took pictures and assessed the current, derelict fencing.

"He acknowledged the need for more robust protection and said that he would get in touch with the relevant authorities and would make fencing off the area his priority.”

The councillor was successful in reporting the matter to BEAR Scotland.

A spokesperson for BEAR, who maintain the roads said: “We inspect this section of the A1 twice weekly for safety issues, most recently on Monday when we installed temporary fencing to close off gaps where the existing fencing has been damaged.

"We will return to the site at a later date to carry out a permanent repair.”

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