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With your love he'll make it, dad tells friends of son left fighting for life after car ploughed into group of people

Victim in intensive care while three others hurt are ‘stable’

By Laura Abernethy

Published 02/12/2015

The silver car involved in the accident after it came to rest by the side of the road
The silver car involved in the accident after it came to rest by the side of the road
Daniel Toal
Paul Kennedy
Emergency services at the scene

The mother of a man left fighting for his life after a horror smash in south Belfast has said her son's injuries are so severe that she does not recognise him.

Eileen Kennedy Young has described her anguish at seeing her son, Paul Kennedy, hooked up to machines in the intensive care unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital after he was knocked down in a crash that injured six young people.

Mr Kennedy, a popular young rugby player who was critically injured in the accident, remained in hospital last night where his condition was described as stable.

Three other people hurt in the accident were also in a stable condition, according to a Belfast Health & Social Care Trust spokeswoman.

Posting on her Facebook page just hours after her son was caught up in the drama on Apollo Road, Mrs Kennedy Young (right), from Moneyreagh in Co Down, said her son had endured five hours in theatre. "He has multiple facial fractures and broken leg," she said.

"Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes.

"To say he doesn't look himself is an understatement.

"His beautiful face is swollen beyond recognition but thankfully only lips and chin are split.

"Thanks again for all your prayers and good wishes."

Her post was inundated with messages of support from friends and family.

Joanne Derby-Murray said: "Good god! Biggest hugs to u & ur family pet. It's awful & quite scary when u see them all wired up & the noise of all the machines.

"I totally know how u r all feeling right now. But he is in the best place possible. I couldn't speak highly enough of the team in ICU. sending love & prayers xoxoxoxox"

Bianca-Jade Matthews wrote: "Your son is the most beautiful person I've ever met. I was so happy to see him the other weekend when he visited after not seeing him for two long years!

"I'm sending all of my love to you and Sarah Kennedy and the rest of your family, big hugs and kisses to you all xxxxx"

Corienne McCarter said: "Been awake most of the night thinking about him. X

"Makes me so angry too that someone can work all over the world and this happens in their home town. Eileen can't imagine what you are going through at the moment.

"Thoughts and prayers with Paul and you all. X"

As messages of support came flooding in, his father, Brian Kennedy, said: "We're literally overwhelmed by the colossal amount of support from you all. We want to thank you sincerely from the bottom of our hearts, for your kind and uplifting words.

"It's this outstanding support from his friends, coupled with Paul's huge strength of character, his limitless positive energy and a crack team of medics that will get him, and us, through these dark days.

"Paul's journey to full recovery will be a long and challenging one. However knowing his friends are there for him, wherever they are in the world, will definitely make that challenge easier for him to meet."

Student Daniel Toal, who was one of the actors involved but was not injured, said: "I can't believe I had the misfortune of experiencing this first hand. The most horrific thing I've experienced and ever hope to experience.

"I'm so grateful to have walked away injury-free but my thoughts go out to those who were injured. Wishing you all a speedy and full recovery! And to those of you who drive, think of the consequences reckless driving can have before be an idiot."

He added on social media: "It's really disturbing. Just happy it wasn't a lot more serious and the emergency services got there quickly and dealt with it really well."

John McPoland from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said his crews were alerted to the crash at around 8.30pm on Monday night.

"We had reports of a car going out of control and ploughing into a group of people. We attended with seven accident and emergency ambulances, a number of officers and a number of rapid response paramedics and we have taken six people away from the scene." Around 20 people were preparing to film a crime scene reconstruction for RTE show Crimecall on Monday night when a silver car lost control and ploughed into them before hitting some metal railings at Apollo Road, just off the Boucher Road in the city.

A 24-year-old man was arrested and was subsequently released on bail yesterday pending further police inquiries.

Detectives last night re-issued their appeal for information about the crash.

Anyone who witnesses the accident is asked to contact police at Lisburn Road on the non-emergency number 101.

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