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Belfast boy (9) hit by scrambler as issue debated in Assembly

By Ed Carty

Published 05/10/2016

It was raised after mother-of-three Valerie Armstrong (35), was killed when she was knocked down by a motorcyclist while walking her dog in a forest park on the outskirts of Belfast in July
It was raised after mother-of-three Valerie Armstrong (35), was killed when she was knocked down by a motorcyclist while walking her dog in a forest park on the outskirts of Belfast in July

A boy aged nine has been injured after being hit by a scrambler motorbike, police have said.

The accident happened at Mossley Pavilion, Carnmoney Road, Newtownabbey, at about 8.45pm yesterday.

The PSNI said an investigation had been launched and officers were following a definite line of inquiry about the identity of the motorcyclist.

The injured boy was last night said to be in a stable condition in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

The issue of the law regarding the use of scramblers and quad bikes was debated in the Assembly just hours before the incident.

It was raised after mother-of-three Valerie Armstrong (35), was killed when she was knocked down by a motorcyclist while walking her dog in a forest park on the outskirts of Belfast in July.

Sinn Fein MLA for North Belfast Gerry Kelly said urgent action should be taken to highlight the dangers of scramblers.

"There is a need to address the problem of scrambler and quad use as a number of adults and children have lost their lives or have been seriously injured by these vehicles," he added.

"Everyone, parents in particular, needs to be made aware of the law on scramblers and quads and where they can and cannot be used before they buy them for their children."

Mr Kelly said the PSNI also needed to use its powers of seizure to prevent accidents.

Newtownabbey Ulster Unionist councillor Alderman Mark Cosgrove added: "My heart goes out to this young boy and his family. I hope he can make a speedy recovery.

"I would appeal to people to think about what they are doing because there have been far too many tragic accidents already.

"Scramblers and quads must be used safely and only in appropriate settings."

Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Noreen McClelland said her thoughts were with the boy and his family.

She added: "Scramblers are not permitted on the pitches. It is something that the council has actively been working to deter the use of in public places, especially in our parks."

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