Girl, 3, killed instantly as van hits her while she plays outside home
A THREE-year-old girl was killed after she was knocked down while playing near her home yesterday.
The child, named locally as Maria McGinley, was playing near her home in St Brigid's Place in Portlaoise, Co Laoise, when she was hit by a van at 12.20pm yesterday.
It is understood she died instantly.
Emergency services arrived at the scene and Maria was taken to the Midlands General Hospital.
However, it is understood she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The scene of the tragedy was cordoned off for technical examination as shocked neighbours gathered.
Heartbroken parents Stephen and Amanda, who have a baby son also, were being comforted by relatives last night.
Devastated family members arrived at the hospital as news of the death spread.
A neighbour said he was deeply shocked by the tragedy.
He told the Sunday Independent: "I've played darts for years with the father and he's a lovely man."
Another neighbour said "they were a beautiful, happy, young family and I can't process what happened."
Earlier this week, a 13-year-old boy from Donegal who had been running away from his parents died when he was struck by an oncoming car.
It is believed Callum Dale from Buncrana had Asperger's syndrome and was being coaxed off the road by his parents at the time of his death.
His father was injured in the incident and remains in a critical condition.
It is thought that the boy's mother witnessed the entire incident.