Little Robbie Shaw (12) fights for his life after road collision
A 12-year-old boy is fighting for his life in hospital after being struck by a car on the outskirts of Belfast.
The boy, named locally as Robbie Shaw, was on the Ballygowan Road when he was struck by the vehicle close to Roselawn cemetery.
It is thought he may have just got off a bus on his way home from school around 4pm.
A spokesman for the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children last night confirmed he was in a critical condition.
It is understood he was undergoing surgery as his parents rushed to the hospital.
The boy is a pupil at the Royal Belfast Academical Institute. He is also a keen soccer player and is a junior member of a Co Down football club.
Following the incident the Ballygowan Road was closed at its junction with the Manse Road and Upper Braniel Road, as well as at Crossnacreevy.
Police said a bus had been nearby but did not confirm if the child had been a passenger.
A Braniel community worker last night described Robbie as “a lovely wee boy”, and “very kind-hearted” for his age.
Alliance councillor for the area Michael Long said his heart went out to the boy’s family. “I’m very disturbed to hear about this,” he said.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the boy and his family and I hope for his speedy recovery.”
DUP councillor Sharon Skillen was also saddened to hear of the incident.
“My thoughts go out to the young boy and his family at this hugely difficult time.
“As we all look forward to Christmas this family face a very difficult and traumatic time,” she said.
“We all hope that he will recover from his injuries, but this incident once again reminds us all of the dangers facing both motorists and pedestrians on the roads, particularly in the dark nights during winter.”
This latest accident comes during a turbulent week of road crashes.
Retired firefighter Eugene McNally, aged in his 50s, died following a two-vehicle crash on the main road between Belfast and Newry on Tuesday evening.
Two men in their 30s were also injured in the same incident, though their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
On Monday evening six people were rushed to hospital after a car careered into a crowd of people near Boucher Road, south Belfast.
Last night one of those injured remained critically ill, three were in a stable condition and two had been discharged.
A 24-year-old man was arrested but has since been released on bail.
A television crew was filming a reconstruction for a crime show in the area at the time of the crash. It is understood about 20 people were taking part.
Roads Service urged motorists to take care while travelling last night as cold weather and frost were forecast.
A spokesman said roads in the north of Northern Ireland were salted.
In total, 65 people have died in accidents on our roads so far this year.
April and June were the most lethal months with 10 road deaths during each of those months.