Carter Carson's mum: My world fell apart when I heard he was dead
The heartbroken mother of Carter Carson, the Newtownabbey boy who was killed in a hit and run incident in Tenerife, said yesterday that her world fell apart when she learned of her son's tragic death.
The nine-year-old was struck by a car while leaving a shopping centre with his family in the town of Adeje on Thursday, and died in hospital the following day.
Speaking last night, his mum Carlene O'Connor (31) paid tribute to her "smart, fun-loving" little boy Carter.
She said: "On Thursday, I got the unthinkable phone call that every parent dreads, telling me that my beautiful son had been involved in a tragic accident while on holiday with his dad and family.
"My heart sank. I didn't want to believe what I was hearing."
Choking back tears, the Newtownabbey woman said: "My world instantly fell apart, to think that my baby boy had gained his angel wings - just as his wee life was really beginning.
"There are just no words to describe this horrific tragedy.
"Carter was a smart, fun-loving, football-crazy young fellow who brought happiness to everyone.
"He touched the hearts of so many people - everyone loved him.
"I miss him so much."
Carlene said Carter was a "football mad" Liverpool fan, playing for his local 18th Newtownabbey youth team in Monkstown, and attended all the Northern Ireland international matches with his dad Stuart.
"He was just the funniest, most wonderful boy. Smart, fun-loving, caring - he had the biggest heart and the most gorgeous smile."
Carlene said she had been overwhelmed by the support she had received from friends and family and a fundraising page set up to help bring Carter home has raised more than £10,500.
Carlene said that the family did not know when her son's body would be released.
She said: "His dad said he is waiting for a call from the British Consulate to let him know when Carter can be brought home.
"I just want him home."
Two men are due to appear in court in Tenerife today to learn if they will face formal charges in connection with Carter's death.
The men, both from Latvia and residents on the island, were detained at the weekend after the car believed to have been involved in the incident was traced to them.
Sources on the Canary Island say the judge in charge of the investigation has opted to wait for detailed forensic results on the damaged Alfa Romeo, before deciding whether to release the pair or remand them.
The British Consulate in Tenerife is providing "all necessary assistance to the family" in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Spain's Interior Minister Juan Zoido took the unusual step early on Sunday morning of breaking the news of the arrests via his personal Twitter account, which he also used to thank the public for their "crucial co-operation".