Mum and baby cheat death after runaway lorry rams into them
A mother and baby cheated death after they were hit by a runaway horse transporter and pinned underneath it.
The lorry rolled down a steep hill before running on to a footpath and slamming into the woman on a busy street in Co Down yesterday.
The infant was being carried in a baby car seat as the woman headed to a dentist in Downpatrick.
The runaway horsebox smashed into the corner of the Irish Street dental surgery, where the young mother had been entering for a 2pm appointment.
The woman was walking away from the broken down and empty transporter unaware of the danger as it rolled silently down the hill, witnesses revealed.
The baby – who suffered a small cut to his head – was rescued by a passer-by from under the horsebox, before being brought into the dental surgery.
The child was cared for by staff from the dentist's office before his transfer to hospital while his mother was freed a short time later.
A man working at a nearby print shop rescued the baby from his capsule which was also underneath the lorry.
Dental worker Katrina Carvill said: "As soon as I heard her I ran out and then I heard somebody saying that there was a baby and a woman stuck in underneath and they got the baby out and I took the baby then in, inside our work, then and looked after it until the ambulance came."
Paul Symington, editor at the Down Recorder newspaper, said the woman was completely oblivious of the runaway truck which "just clobbered her".
Mr Symington, whose newspaper has offices yards from the scene of the accident, explained: "The lorry had broken down at the top of Irish Street.
"The police were directing traffic around it while people worked on it and suddenly it took off and went straight down the road."
He added: "The mother, who was carrying her child in a car seat with a handle, was walking away from it – she did not see it at all. It just clobbered her."
Both mother and child were taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where their conditions were described as stable last night.