Garda probe after boy knocked down by patrol car
A YOUNG boy struck by a garda patrol car as he crossed a city centre road was discharged from hospital last night after being treated for minor injuries.
The Garda Ombudsman Commission has begun an investigation into the incident which occurred in Limerick city centre yesterday.
The accident occurred at 1.30pm on O'Connell Street near the junction with William Street.
The 12-year-old boy was crossing the road near the Penneys store when he was hit by the patrol car, in which two gardai were travelling.
The front windscreen of the garda vehicle was smashed. Eyewitnesses said the boy was thrown in the air before landing on the roadway.
One man told of how the boy's mother held her son's hand as he lay on the ground after being hit.
A woman, who was nearby with a young child at the time, described it as one of the most frightening scenes she had ever witnessed.
"It was like something out of a Hollywood movie," she said.
The young victim's injuries were not serious and he was discharged from the Mid Western Regional Hospital after treatment to his legs.
According to a garda spokesman, the patrol car was on duty but it did not have its siren going at the time and it was not responding to any emergency situation.
It is understood CCTV footage taken from the scene shows that the garda vehicle was travelling at a normal speed at the time of the accident.
A spokesman for the Garda Ombudsman Commission confirmed the incident had been referred to it shortly after lunchtime yesterday and investigators were sent to the scene.
Motorists experienced lengthy delays across Limerick city yesterday afternoon as investigations continued into the incident.
A section of O'Connell Street where the collision occurred had to be closed for a number of hours and traffic was diverted via Denmark Street, with other diversions put in place around Bank Place, Charlotte Quay and Clare Street.