Belfast Telegraph

Brother and sister remain in critical condition after Antrim crash

By Allan Preston

A brother and sister from Co Antrim remained in a critical condition last night, after they were knocked down getting off their school bus on Tuesday.

The crash occurred in Creggan, near Randalstown, on the Staffordstown Road, around 4.40pm.

The siblings, aged 12 and 14 respectively, are students at St Patrick's College in Magherafelt.

It's understood they were hit by a white Audi A3, as they were crossing the road after stepping off their bus.

Both children were taken to Antrim Area Hospital, before being moved to Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Yesterday, their principal, Brenda Mussen, said the school community was "greatly saddened" that two of their junior pupils had been critically injured.

Speaking to the BBC she added: "They're lovely children, very popular with their peers and well respected within the school. At this time, I just want to ask everyone to keep the children in your thoughts and prayers as we are doing. Every prayer counts at this stage."

An open night at the school last night was postponed, as has another on Saturday.

On Tuesday evening, the St MacNissis Youth Group in Randalstown, which one of the children attends, posted a message of support on their Facebook page.

"Before I put my head down and go to bed tonight, I will pray and think of our senior member and her brother involved in an accident earlier this evening," the statement read.

"I would ask you all join us in a prayer each night to give both kids and the family the strength over these next few days ahead. The Youth Group, the community of Randalstown and Creggan are thinking and praying for you both."

SDLP councillor Roisin Lynch commented: "It's just a tragedy that no family wishes to have visited on them. The whole community is heartbroken for them."

She added safety measures on the Staffordstown Road would need to be reassessed.

"Just before that stretch of road, they secured a 30 and 40mph speed limit through Creggan past the Gaelic field," she said.

"I don't think it applied on that stretch of road, so there will be a need to look at speed limit, lighting and provision around drop-off points for buses."

Alliance MLA, David Ford, added his best wishes to the family.

"This accident is very distressing for the family and the many other people affected, including the emergency services and the drivers," he said.

"I would offer my thoughts and prayers for a speedy and full recovery for the children."

The Sinn Fein MLA, Declan Kearney, knows the family well. He described their situation as "devastating."

"They come from an extremely well-respected, well-liked family within the greater Creggan area," he said. "My thoughts, and that of the wider community of Creggan, and neighbouring areas, are with their parents, and other family members at this time."

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