Tributes to teen boy Reece Meenan killed in hit-and-run in Northern Ireland
A Coleraine family has been left devastated after their 13-year-old son was killed in a hit and run incident.
Young Reece Meenan was rushed to hospital after being struck by a white-coloured car at around 6.30pm on Saturday at Newbridge Road, but was pronounced dead a short time later.
Tributes have been paid to the Loreto College pupil who played football for Bertie Peacock Youths up until the end of last season.
Club chairman Aaron Moffatt said the teen "could turn his hand to anything" and had recently taken up golf.
"Reece was a great young kid who was well liked about the club and within his team," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"He was one of those wee lads who could turn his hand to anything. He had been playing a lot of golf recently up at Castlerock and I believe he was doing very well at it - he also played a bit of Gaelic.
"This news is just awful, he will be sadly missed."
Flowers were laid close to scene yesterday evening and a banner which read 'RIP Reece' was hung from a nearby bridge.
Coleraine councillor, Stephanie Quigley (SDLP), knows the Meenan family and described Reece as a popular young man.
"Reece was in the same class as my son in Loreto College and was a very happy and popular young man," she said.
"To lose a child is one of the most devastating experiences for a family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time."
The Belfast Telegraph understands that the family live in Coleraine and that Reece's mother came across the scene of the incident while she was out looking for him on Saturday evening.
It is the second tragedy to hit the family in recent years. In September 2012 Reece's uncle, Peter Lennon, died in an industrial accident at A Diamond & Son Timber where he worked.
Coleraine councillor, George Duddy (DUP), said this is a devastating tragedy for the family.
"It is impossible to imagine what they are going through at this traumatic time, and they are very much in our thoughts and prayers," he said.
He appealed for appropriate support to be made available for Reece's friends and classmates, adding: "The other young people who were with him at the time will be shocked and traumatised by this, as will his classmates. I hope that they will be offered all the support that they need to help them come to terms with this awful tragedy."
The car believed to have been involved was recovered by police in the Magherafelt area several hours after the incident and officers arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of dangerous driving causing death and a number of other offences. He was released on police bail last night, pending further enquiries.
PSNI Detective Sergeant Wallace appealed for witnesses and those with any information to contact police in Coleraine on 101.