THE mother of a toddler left fighting for life after an empty car rolled on to his pram was heard screaming out for her baby after the 'freak' accident.
Residents living on the Comber Road in Dundonald, Co Down, spoke of the distressing scenes, which unfolded after the two-year-old boy was critically injured by the vehicle.
One man said the tot's mother was heard screaming "my baby, my baby" after the Volkswagen crashed into the pair as they walked along the footpath.
Last night, a Belfast Health Trust spokeswoman said the child was in a "critical condition" at the Royal Victoria Hospital's intensive care unit.
Andrew Mercer (56) told of the distressing scenes when the nightmare unfolded at around 4pm on Saturday.
It is understood an empty Volkswagen Golf, which was parked in the grounds of Limetree Care Home, rolled down its sloped driveway and across Comber Road, before mounting the kerb and hitting the little boy and crushing his pram.
The injured toddler was initially taken to the nearby Ulster Hospital by ambulance, but was then transferred to the intensive care unit of the Royal.
The PSNI said the mother was treated in hospital for her injuries, which are not believed to be life-threatening.
Mr Mercer said the boy was being pushed in a lightweight pram by his mother, who he believes was also accompanied by a young woman and a girl.
"We heard screaming, so ran out of the house. The child's mother was screaming for God. The poor woman was hysterical, screaming, 'My baby, my baby'."
Mr Mercer called 999, and his daughter's fiance, who has first aid training, tried to help.
"Craig put the child on the ground and started checking his vital signs," he added.
"He said the wee boy's heart had stopped, so he pumped it to resuscitate him.
"A young fella came running up the street and told us he was a paramedic, so he took over.
"It was terrible watching him fight for his life."
Castlereagh councillor Jim White, a DUP representative who lives in the area, said he understood the boy's parents were originally from the Philippines and both worked as nurses at the Ulster Hospital.
"Everyone is deeply concerned about the family. It's a desperate situation for them," he said.
A 31-year-old man arrested in connection with the crash has been released on bail.
Police appealed for anyone with information to get in touch on 0845 600 8000.