Vet killed in hit-run tragedy

FORMER Tamworth man Dr Martin Pearson has been remembered as a compassionate and capable veterinarian following his tragic hit-run death in Queensland on Anzac Day.

SADLY MISSED: Dr Martin Pearson at South Tamworth Animal Hospital in 2009. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 140109GOJ01 INSET: Dr Pearson was an enthusiastic cyclist and was wearing correct riding attire at the time.

SADLY MISSED: Dr Martin Pearson at South Tamworth Animal Hospital in 2009. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 140109GOJ01 INSET: Dr Pearson was an enthusiastic cyclist and was wearing correct riding attire at the time.

Dr Martin was killed while riding in a 1500km community ride near Inglewood, west of Warwick, at 3.30pm on Friday by a driver who failed to stop after the collision.

Dr Pearson’s brother, Dr John Pearson, a general practitioner in Tamworth, said it was a bleak irony that  Martin was killed on a day that was all about mateship and courage.

“This is an act of supreme cowardice and I can’t believe somebody’s conscience hasn’t got the better of them and they won’t be struck by an act of guilt,” he said.

“I can’t believe the extreme irony of someone leaving a vet by the side of the road.”

Dr Pearson said his brother was a committed, well-respected vet and a fantastic teacher.

“Even to the extent it cost him personally to be as committed as he was and his major release was cycling,” he said.

“He has ridden thousands and thousands of kilometres.”

He said Martin always made sure he did the right thing and was wearing the right clothes as a cyclist.

“I was just consulting with a patient who had a bad cough and I said I couldn’t do much, and joked that he needed a vet and my brother was on, but then I realised I can’t say that anymore,” he said.

“It doesn’t seem fair, but one thing is knowing that he achieved the pinnacle of his career and that he was committed as a husband, as a father, as a Christian and as a vet.”

He said both Martin’s children were “absolutely devastated”.

Inglewood Police said they were still investigating the hit-and-run.

Martin is believed to have been hit by a large vehicle such as a truck or 4WD.

He worked as a partner in South Tamworth Animal Hospital for 14 years and was a professor and doctor of veterinary anaesthesia and moved to Queensland four years ago.

Dr Peter Best, who worked with Martin for 14 years as his business partner, said everyone was upset at Greencross Vets, as the surgery is now known.

“He was a good friend and this is just tragic,” he said.

At the time he was killed, Martin was the head of the University of Queensland veterinary clinic at Gatton and was responsible for the fifth year students just prior to graduating.

Veterinary nurse Rebecca Miller also remembered him as “a great teacher and good friend”.

“He helped me out a lot with my own animals, especially my dog Pippa and was instrumental in getting her heart surgery done in Sydney,” she said.

“He was a nice bloke, with a really dry sense of humour and was great to the animals – a very compassionate man.”

Ms Miller said people knew him all over the world in the anaesthetic circles and many people would miss him.

His funeral details are not yet known.

Dr Pearson’s death should not be in vain:see editorial.

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