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Sunday 21 April 2019

Girl (17) found dead beside car at gates of Belfast City Hospital - police probe link to car crash 5 miles away

Handout photo of police activity in Dunluce Avenue in south Belfast, at the scene of an ongoing incident.
Handout photo of police activity in Dunluce Avenue in south Belfast, at the scene of an ongoing incident.

Jonathan Bell

Police are investigating the death of a 17-year-old girl who was found in the grounds of Belfast City Hospital beside a car early on Sunday morning. They are linking the death to a car crash in Castlereagh - approximately 5 miles away.

In that a silver Mercedes was found on its roof close to the roundabout at the Ballygowan Road close to the junction with Manse Road in Castlereagh at around 2.30am. An injured man was later found and taken to hospital for treatment

Later at around 3am the Ambulance Service reported finding the girl lying on the ground next to a grey MG car in the grounds of the hospital off the Lisburn Road close to the entrance. She was pronounced dead at the scene and a post mortem is to be carried out to determine how she died.

The discovery sparked a major police incident with officers and forensic teams spending much of the morning at the hospital examining the scene.

Chief Inspector Michael Gregg said: "Our investigation is at an early stage, however, we believe there is a link between the collision on Ballygowan Road in the vicinity of its junction with Manse Road, and the discovery of the teenager's body. I have a number of appeals to make this evening.

"Were you in the Manse Road area/general Ballygowan area between 1am and 2:30am this morning? Did you see a car matching the description of the silver Mercedes? Did you witness the collision? Did you see any other vehicles in the time after the collision, including a grey MG?

"If you were on the road at these times, please think back to what you may have seen. It's important we can track the movement of the vehicle involved to help us establish what happened.

"I also want to appeal to anyone who was in the Belfast City Hospital/Lisburn Road area of the city this morning and saw a grey MG, to please call us. We need to know how this young girl was brought to the hospital, by whom and from where.

"If you have information about the collision, or the circumstances surrounding the death of this young girl which you believe could assist our investigation, please, pick up the phone and call us on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 227 of 24/03/19. I would also urge anyone who may have captured footage of the collision on Manse Road or of the a Grey MG in the area of the City Hospital to call us."

"Alternatively information can also be provided by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

The Ballygowan Road was closed for a time, but has since re-opened.

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