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Owner of Dogs Slain on Hickory Grove Road Speaks

HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - A Horseheads family is heartbroken over the loss of their two dogs. Lucy and Molly were struck and killed by a van on Hickory Grove Road on Friday morning. To make matters worse, the driver then fled the scene.

"I replay it, I don't know what else I could've done, so this has been very hard," owner Bill Hopkins said.

Hopkins said his walk with Lucy and Molly started out just like any other, but would soon suffer a terrible twist of fate.

"We were walking on the left-hand side and I happened to look up and I saw this car basically outside the lane where they should be, heading right towards me," Hopkins said. "The dogs were with me, one was in front of me, one was to the side of me and so my instincts say, if I go to the left, either they're going to self-correct when they see me, move to go back onto the curved road headed back on the proper path, which is the road. Well, they didn't stop."

The van struck and killed both Molly and Lucy almost instantly. Hopkins himself barely made it out of the way.

"One of the people in the car, I couldn't tell you if it was the driver or the passenger, approaches me and says 'You got to keep your dogs off the road,'" Hopkins said.

While Hopkins was tending to his dying dogs, the two women got back in their van and took off.

"Gut-wrenching, that people exist that do things like this then show zero remorse and then have the gall, audacity to do this cowardly act of driving away," Hopkins said. "It's really quite pathetic."

The Hopkins' say they've lost two members of their family.

"People may look at us and say, well it's just dogs, but their unconditional love is what they provide to you," Hopkins said. "This is been very hard, very difficult."

Hopkins has a message for those who chose to drive distracted.

"People have got to be aware of what's going on, he said. "Texting, adjusting the radio, I mean you just can't do things like that because there's not just walkers with dogs but there's joggers, there's bicyclist, there's all kinds of people that are on the sides of these roads that people have to be aware of."

New York State Police in Horseheads say the driver has been found and ticketed and will appear in court at a later date.

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