Belfast Telegraph

Belfast's Ballysillan residents shocked as man badly hurt after being struck by car

By Brett Campbell

A north Belfast man may lose an eye after being knocked down in the early hours of yesterday on the Ballysillan Road.

The collision happened just half-a-mile away from where Lisa Gow was killed last Thursday. It is understood the man, who is in his 40s, had been returning from a friend's house at around 3am, where he had watched the Carl Frampton fight on TV.

A 29-year-old woman was arrested after the crash.

The victim was taken to hospital where he is being treated for severe head and facial injuries.

Police described the injuries as "life-changing, but not life-threatening".

A friend of the family said the man's partner and children were in shock following the horror collision.

"They are just relieved that brain tests have not shown any signs of permanent damage," they said.

"He's obviously in a great deal of shock too, but he remembers everything and can even recall the moment the car hit him.

"There's a lot of pain.

"The upper body seems to have taken the brunt of the impact and it looks like he might lose his eye.

"It's absolutely terrible."

The victim, who lives close to where he was knocked down, is believed to have suffered broken ribs, a shattered collarbone and a punctured lung.

A number of cars on the road were damaged in the incident.

Councillor Dale Pankhurst, who spoke to the man's family, said everyone in the area was shocked by what had happened.

"They are completely devastated, especially at the thought of him losing an eye, but they are glad it wasn't worse," he said.

"They, like the entire community, are totally shocked and angered by this. The fact that it happened just two days after Lisa was killed is absolutely horrifying.

"This is a very popular local man who has done a lot of DIY work for people, everyone knows him and our hearts just go out to him."

The Oldpark representative promised to raise safety concerns at a meeting with Roads Service later this week.

PUP councillor Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston described the scene yesterday morning as "horrific" after residents woke up to discover debris all over the road.

"Residents said they heard three loud bangs and one of them was the car hitting the pedestrian," she explained.

"There was a passing taxi at the time and thankfully there was a nurse inside who was able to administer first aid on the scene before the ambulance arrived.

"All our thoughts will be with the pedestrian."

Ms Corr-Johnston said police are treating the incident, which has shocked and angered residents, as "very serious".

"There is a really dark cloud hanging over the community - this is just hard to stomach," she added.

Police have appealed for anyone with information, video or pictures to contact them.

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