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Our baby angel: Northern Ireland family's grief as boy (3) knocked down and killed


Christopher Ward died after being struck by a vehicle last Friday

Christopher Ward died after being struck by a vehicle last Friday

Christopher Ward died after being struck by a vehicle last Friday

The family of a toddler who died hours after being struck by a truck have called him their "baby angel" and said they were praying he was "flying high".

Christopher Ward was knocked down on Friday morning at Dobson's Way in Bessbrook, Co Armagh.

He was rushed by relatives, who are settled Travellers, to Daisy Hill hospital in Newry.

Around 200 members of the Travelling community descended on the hospital desperately hoping for good news about the three-year-old, and were said to be "totally distraught" when they were told Christopher had died at around 1pm on Friday. One of Christopher's cousins, Chloe Maughan, posted photographs online of the little boy alongside tributes including: "RIP Christopher fly high angel."

She also posted a collage of pictures of Christopher on Facebook showing him playing on a swing and wearing a flat cap with the message: "Rest in eternal paradise in heaven above baby angel."

Her posts prompted tributes from friends including: "Can't get over it, poor infant, really is heartbroken" and "RIP angel".

Chloe wrote on Facebook while Christopher was in hospital: "Can everyone please pray for my baby cousin Christopher. Got kicked down there about half an hour ago. Please, please pray for him to be okay."

Local Sinn Fein councillor Roisin Mulgrew said the community sympathised with the Ward family.

She added: "It's just an absolute tragedy when a very young child loses his life in such a terrible accident.

"Irrespective of how long you have lived in an area, the entire community absolutely sympathises with you and offers up their thoughts and prayers.

"It's a horrific situation and one that no family should ever have to face."

SDLP MLA Justin McNulty said the entire area had been left stung by the news.

He said: "The community are in shock, I'm in shock. It is something that would be any family's, any parents', any community's worst nightmare.

"It's a really heartbreaking incident.

"It's a three-year-old boy and what can you say in such a situation, it's just dreadful.

"My thoughts and sympathies are with the family and obviously with the deceased. Rest in peace."

Ulster Unionist councillor David Taylor offered his condolences to Christopher's family, saying: "My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very sad time and I hope and trust they will find the necessary strength to cope with their grief over the difficult days which lie ahead."

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to contact police in Newry by calling 101, quoting reference 399.

Belfast Telegraph