Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Belfast toddler dies after runaway vehicle rolls down hill and smashes into buggy

Scene of the accident in which a baby's buggy was struck by a car on the Comber Road, Dundonald
Scene of the accident in which a baby's buggy was struck by a car on the Comber Road, Dundonald

A two-year-old child struck by a car in Northern Ireland at the weekend has died. The boy was in a buggy being pushed by his mother when a parked car rolled into them in Comber Road in Dundonald, east Belfast, on Saturday.

The toddler died of his injuries in hospital, police said.

The tragedy took place shortly after 4pm on Saturday on the Comber Road in Dundonald.

A white Volkswagen Golf is thought to have reversed out of the Limetree Care Home and struck the 18-month-old boy who was in a buggy.

He had been treated in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, where his condition was described as critical.

Reports at the scene indicated that there was no-one in the car that hit the boy and that a problem with the handbrake could have caused it to roll down a hill and out on to the road.

She said: “This is so tragic coming at this time of year, just days after Christmas and just days before the new year.”

Police are investigating the incident.

The busy Comber Road was closed off at its junction with East Link Road and Grahamsbridge Road for several hours as police examined the scene.

Earlier in the week it was revealed that the number of road deaths in Northern Ireland this year is likely to be at its lowest since records began.

The expected reduction has been welcomed by environment minister Alex Attwood, who cited better roads, good driving and less drink-driving as the main reasons for the fall.

So far this year 46 people have lost their lives on our roads, compared to 59 people last year.

The previous lowest annual figure for road deaths was 2010 when a total of 55 people died as a result of road accidents.

However, there have been a recent spate of double tragedies on our roads.

Earlier this month father and daughter Colin and Hannah Doherty from Magherafelt were killed when their car was in collision with a cattle lorry close to their Moneymore Road home.

Days later, Co Tyrone teenagers Lisa O'Donnell and her boyfriend Kevin Conway were killed when their car collided with an oil tanker near Pomeroy.

Mr Attwood had welcomed the decline in road deaths but said the days ahead still carried risks.

“As another Christmas comes to its close, there are many homes where a death on the roads have visited in the last year,” he said.

“They are homes we all remember with the hope that with care on the roads over these next days no other families will suffer sudden loss.”

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