A Ballarat detective who unknowingly stopped at a crime scene on her way to work last week, where she was told her father had been killed in a hit and run, has appealed for "the coward" who fled the scene to come forward.
"Just like every other day", Sophie Thomson was taking her usual route to work about 7am last Thursday when she came across her colleagues processing a crime scene in Delacombe.
The detective senior constable, attached to the Criminal Investigation Unit at Ballarat Police Station, decided to pull over and ask if they needed any help.
"A detective sergeant I work with daily informed me that a cyclist had been hit and killed and a car had failed to stop. That cyclist was my father," an emotional Detective Senior Constable Thomson told the media on Tuesday.
"My world instantly broke. Dad had been tragically killed on the way to work and what's worse is that the coward didn't even stop or brake afterwards.
"I had unknowingly attended my dad's own crime scene. Please, imagine for a second what that would have been like and that the offending driver still hasn't come forward."
David Thomson, 60, had been cycling to his shift at Eureka Concrete on October 21. As Mr Thomson, more commonly known as "Thommo", peddled along Brazenor Street and approached the Latrobe Street intersection, a driver cut the corner and crossed on to the wrong side of the road.
The driver struck Mr Thomson but CCTV footage, which captured the incident, shows the driver did not brake and rather than stopping to render assistance, they sped off.
Describing her dad as "everything" to her, she explained her dad was the reason she became a police officer and that they were very close.
"David was my father, my hero and my absolute rock. My dad was everything to me and so many others."
In the months prior to the incident, she said her dad had been walking and riding his bike to get fit, and had even told his daughter he would go on hiking trips with her.
"He was improving his fitness and desperately wanted to continue playing cricket, which he loved so much.
"Dad was advised cycling would be a good way to strengthen his old knees so he could continue playing and he also needed to keep up with his two grandchildren, Poppy and Slater, who were starting to run rings around him."
While noting nothing would bring her dad back and that her family was "just broken", she said finding the driver would give the family "a tiny bit of closure [they] desperately need".
Detective Senior Constable Thomson appealed for anyone with information about the driver or the car that killed her dad to "say something".
"To the driver, I know you are watching. Please hand yourself in. No person can live with this kind of guilt."
Adding Ballarat was a small community, she also appealed to anyone else with information about the driver or anyone who recognised the car to contact police.
While grappling with grief, she said her family was hopeful they would get the answers they were so desperately seeking about Mr Thomson's last moments and would not give up.
"My dad deserves it and I think we deserve it," she said.
"My police family won't stop looking for you."
Mr Thomson's son, Dylan, said the days since their dad's death had shown how loved their dad was.
"[There has been an] outpouring of people trying to help us and be around us. It shows how big a part of the community he was. He was a very, very loved man."
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