Arrest after young boy hit by car - child critically ill in Belfast hospital
Prayers offered for boy - Co Down road remains closed 'due to seriousness of incident'
A man has been arrested after a young boy was left in a critical condition in hospital after he was struck by a car in Co Down.
The incident happened on the Movilla Road in Newtownards at around 5.20pm on Thursday, close to a local primary school at a set of traffic lights.
The child - thought to be of nursery school age - was hit by a silver Volkswagen Golf.
Police said given the “seriousness of the incident” no traffic was being allowed down the road.
The man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, the PSNI said.
DUP councillor Naomi Armstrong Cotter was at the scene of the incident and in contact with the police.
She said her church — Ards Elim — had put the boy in its prayer line and the community had come together to offer its support.
“And they are our hopes and sincere prayers. It’s all you can do — you want to do more but you can’t,” she told the Belfast Telegraph.
“So we are all taking the time now to pray sincerely and fervently for the child.
“All you can do is pray and ask God for mercy.
“As a mummy my heart is physically aching.
“I’ve felt just physically ill at the thought of this. I’ve two child aged three and four — all their Christmas presents bought and upstairs — and you can’t bear the thought of what this family are going through and our hearts go out to them.
“Since I posted about it on Facebook there have been lots of messages of people offering their prayers and hoping.”
Community workers in the area described as sense of shock in the area as word spread of the incident.
They said they had been campaigning for traffic measures to be introduced on the 40mph road which runs past a primary school, a housing estate and shops which had been rejected.
In a statement the Ambulance Service it dispatched crews following a 999 call.
“Two rapid response paramedics, two Doctors and an A&E crew were dispatched to the scene,” the Ambulance Service said.
“The HEMS [air ambulance] team also attended by car.
“After initial treatment at the scene the child has been taken by ambulance to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.”
Police have said the road is likely to remain closed for some time.
Diversions are in place at Old Movilla Road and Stratheden Heights. Anyone with information should call 101.
In a statement the PSNI added: “Police are appealing for witnesses following a road traffic collision on the Movilla Road in Newtownards on Thursday, 13 December.
“The collision involving a silver coloured Volkswagen Golf and a young pedestrian occurred at around 5.20pm.
“The pedestrian has since been taken to hospital and remains in a critical condition.
“A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving and is currently in custody assisting with police enquiries.
“Officers would ask anyone who witnessed the collision or who may have dashcam footage to contact them at Newtownards on 101 quoting reference number 1000 13/12/18.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital