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Hit-and-run victim deserving of justice

Editor's Viewpoint

Published 26/07/2016

The sheer horror that hit-and-run victim Joseph McGivern endured as he lay injured at the side of a road earlier this month hardly bears thinking about
The sheer horror that hit-and-run victim Joseph McGivern endured as he lay injured at the side of a road earlier this month hardly bears thinking about

The sheer horror that hit-and-run victim Joseph McGivern endured as he lay injured at the side of a road earlier this month hardly bears thinking about.

The 28-year-old was knocked down as he walked along the main Carlingford to Newry Road in the early hours of the morning. The driver of the car callously drove on without stopping.

Mr McGivern was left immobile with both legs broken and other injuries, so imagine the fear he must have felt as he heard and saw other cars approaching him. Several clipped his arms, but then he saw one vehicle heading straight at him, its driver obviously unaware that he was lying there.

That car not only drove over him but also dragged him a short distance along the road before the motorist was able to stop. Thanks to that Good Samaritan the emergency services were summoned and Mr McGivern was taken to hospital, firstly in Newry, and then to Belfast because of the seriousness of his injuries.

He is fortunate to be still alive but faces a very lengthy period of rehabilitation.

Virtually every bone from his head to his toes were broken and it is feared he may never be able to work again at his chosen trade of tiling due to the injuries to his back and legs. The driver who knocked him down and then fled the scene in cowardly fashion has not only robbed Mr McGivern of his livelihood, but has also caused huge disruption for his partner Zoe McAvoy and their two young children.

Ms McAvoy, who is on maternity leave, is very concerned about how the family will make ends meet in the coming weeks and months, as Mr McGivern is self-employed. She has also been under tremendous strain making time to visit him in hospital and getting relatives to look after their children.

She has taken the unusual step of writing an open letter to the hit-and-run driver, posting it online where it has been read by thousands. It is a heartrending piece of prose but, obviously, it has not, as yet, touched the heart of the person responsible for knocking Mr McGivern down.

Often we hear of someone being injured in a road accident but never find out how their lives are affected. We know more in this case, and the family's plea for information deserves an answer. Perhaps others may have seen a damaged car or overheard someone saying they were in an accident. They should pass on any scrap of information to the police.

Belfast Telegraph

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