Belfast Telegraph

Little Ronan McGavigan (2) dies after being struck by car as he chased ball onto road outside home near Derry City stadium

By Nevin Farrell

A toddler who died after being struck by a car is believed to have run out onto the road while chasing a ball.

Two-year-old Ronan McGavigan, passed away at Londonderry's Altnagelvin Hospital yesterday.

He had lived at Lone Moor Road near Derry City's Brandywell stadium and died despite the best efforts of medics to save his life.

Police said the accident happened at Lone Moor Road at around 1.15pm yesterday and involved one car.

Stunned local people last night gathered at the family home to express their condolences to the toddler's family and said his mum Laura and her partner John were "devastated".

Sinn Fein councillor Patricia Logue was amongst those who expressed their sympathies following the death.

Speaking ahead of visiting the family home last night, she said: "I want to express my sympathy to the family and friends of this young boy.

"It is a tragic and very personal loss for them.

"They are in our thoughts and prayers at this time, as they are trying to come to terms with such dreadful news."

"It was a pure accident, the wee boy ran out after a ball in between cars and unfortunately there was a car coming along."

Independent councillor Sean Carr also passed on his condolences and said the family were distraught.

Fr Eamon Graham, the family's parish priest from the Long Tower parish in Derry, who visited the scene of the accident, told the Belfast Telegraph: "It is terrible, it is a tragedy.

"I was speaking to neighbours and people are very upset and very saddened.

"It is just a tragedy. I will be with the family later on tonight.

"Nobody seems to know what happened.

"Obviously the child was hit by a car but what exactly happened I don't know.

"I assume the child ran out into the road.

"The thoughts of parishioners are with them and in our prayers.

"Nobody expects to lose a child, it is just a very sad time.

"There are no words adequate for a situation like this but we will try to support the family as best we can in the next days and weeks."

Ronan was a brother to Dylan, Michael and Selina and half-brother to Cadan and Conal.

Fr Michael Canny from the Waterside parish in Derry was with Ronan's family at Altnagelvin Hospital yesterday.

He said paramedics had tried their best to save the little boy's life - but unfortunately, it was in vain.

"The staff worked very long and hard and did everything they could but it wasn't possible to save the child and the family and grandmother were absolutely shocked and in total disbelief."

A PSNI spokesman said: "The collision occurred at around 1.15pm and involved a silver coloured Citroen Picasso car.

"The driver of the car has been spoken to by police and enquiries are currently ongoing."

The Lone Moor Road was shut in both directions at its junctions with the Brandywell Road and Southway.

PSNI Inspector David McIlwaine appealed to anyone who witnessed the collision or who had any information which could assist police with their enquiries to contact Strand Road on 101."

Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised.

Meanwhile, one of Northern Ireland's main roads was closed last night due to a road traffic collision.

Police and ambulance personnel were called to the scene of a collision at the Sydenham by-pass in Belfast.

It is understood the accident involved a lorry and at least one car - a Hyundai Tucson - which was seen lying on its roof.

Diversions were in place but traffic going to George Best Belfast City Airport was being facilitated, a PSNI spokesman said.

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