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Northern Ireland pensioner arrested as boy (9) left in critical condition after being knocked down

By Cate McCurry

A young boy is fighting for his life after being hit by a car in Co Antrim last night.

Police arrested a pensioner shortly afterwards. The nine-year-old was rushed to hospital after he was stuck by the vehicle on Toberdoney Road in Liscolman just after 4pm.

It's understood he was playing football when the incident happened.

The youngster, who is a P5 pupil at Straidbilly Primary School, was in a critical condition.

The man arrested by police is in his 70s.

The road remained closed to the public last night as the PSNI investigated the scene.

The boy was taken with a police escort to the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

He was later transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

A spokeswoman for the Belfast Trust said the child remained in a critical condition last night.

A spokesman for the PSNI said: "Police are appealing for witnesses following a road traffic collision involving a car and a pedestrian on the Toberdoney Road in Liscolman shortly after 4.15pm on Tuesday, January 10.

"A nine-year-old boy was taken to hospital for treatment for his injuries that are described as serious as a result of the collision.

"The driver of the car, a man aged in his 70s, was arrested and is currently in custody assisting police with their enquiries."

Toberdoney Road was closed last night due to the collision and traffic diversions were put in place.

Ulster Unionist councillor Joan Baird described the incident as "terrible".

"It happened right at the edge of the village," she told Belfast Live.

"I understand that he was playing football and he was hit by a car.

"Information is still coming out but I know that he has been taken away to the Royal.

"It is really terrible.

"Obviously my thoughts are with the boy and his family, and also with the man who was driving the car."

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said: "We received a call at approximately 4.30pm that a child had been knocked down.

"He was taken by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he was in a serious condition."

Hundreds of people wished the youngster a speedy recovery on social media.

Meanwhile, a multi-car crash caused long delays for motorists travelling home yesterday evening.

The crash blocked the outside lane heading out of Belfast at Greencastle with traffic queued back to York Street.

There were no reports of any injuries, but motorists were advised to avoid the M2 northbound.

A three-car collision on the A26 Lisnevenagh Road delayed traffic heading towards Ballymena.

There were multiple pile-ups on the same stretch of road between Ballymena and Antrim last week as treacherous icy conditions struck parts of Northern Ireland.

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