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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 04:39 GMT 05:39 UK
Police follow Jeep killer leads
Paula Stead
Paula Stead: "A friendly word for everyone"
Police hunting the killer of a woman who died in a hit-and-run incident say they are following up leads.

Paula Stead, 32, died after she was struck by a Jeep Cherokee in St Luke's Road, Sunderland, on Thursday.

Her daughter Bridie, 11, was also hurt along with Danica Green, the 10-year-old daughter of her cousin.

The driver, who was being followed by police, fled but detectives say they are making inquiries relating to a person who may have been involved.

Mrs Stead, who recently married her landscape gardener husband John, was returning from her second job cleaning at a dental surgery when she was fatally injured.

Bridie was left crying for her mother, who had been knocked unconscious and was later pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

Mrs Stead's next door neighbour Donna Smith, 31, said: "Paula was a bubbly, happy-go-lucky person.

"We were like sisters, she lived next door to us. I'm expecting her to knock on the door and ask us for a cup of coffee."

Ms Smith said Bridie had shattered her ankle and elbow and was still at Sunderland Royal Hospital, where her father was by her side along with Mrs Stead's twin sister, Bev.

Extra patrols

Mrs Stead was a dinner lady at Southmoor Community School, where head teacher Elizabeth Bowman said: "Paula will be missed by everyone at the school, particularly in the kitchens where she was a valued, hard-working member of the team, and by the children because she was always smiling with a friendly word for everyone."

Extra patrols were in the area and the force helicopter was hovering over Sunderland on Friday.

One local said he had heard there had been a stabbing in the Pallion area of Sunderland in the minutes prior to the pursuit.

Police are also investigating a second, unrelated pursuit involving a Mazda car which ended with a crash and serious injury only 600 yards from the scene.


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