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Sunday 22 September 2019

Mum's shock after teen son badly injured in hit-and-run

David Young and Jane Scott

The mother of a teenage boy injured in an horrific hit-and-run in north Belfast early yesterday morning has said her son could have been killed in the terrifying incident.

Theresa Marley's 17-year-old son Eamonn was badly injured after being knocked down by the grey Vauxhall Zafira in the Oldpark Road and Ardoyne Avenue area during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mrs Marley shared shocking footage of the incident captured on video, moments before the teenager was hit.

It shows the car being driven erratically at a group of youths, some of whom were forced to jump over railings to escape.

Mrs Marley also posted graphic images of the injuries her son sustained.

Last night, Eamonn's brother Sean spoke to the Belfast Telegraph on behalf of his traumatised mother.

"Our family has been left extremely shaken by this incident, especially my son Eamonn, who is in a lot of discomfort and pain.

"I would like to thank everyone for all their well wishes.

"However, mentally he has been left with a much deeper scar.

"The individual involved should take responsibility for their despicable action which could have left my son dead, by using their car as a weapon. These death drivers need to stop."

Sean said that his brother Eamonn had been walking past the Glenpark Inn when the incident happened out of the blue.

Eamonn was treated for his injuries in hospital, and is now recovering at home.

He is to return to hospital for further treatment today, Sean said.

The smartphone video shows the grey Zafira being driven dangerously in the area shortly before colliding with the teenager at about 1.20am at Oldpark Square.

The car was later found burned out in the Cliftonville Road area at around 4.15am.

Police investigating the incident have arrested a 30-year-old woman on suspicion of arson, as well as a number of driving-related offences.

She is currently in custody, helping police with their inquiries.

The PSNI's Sergeant Greg Dawson said: "We would appeal to anyone who saw this car being driven erratically, witnessed the hit-and-run incident or has mobile phone or dashcam footage of either to get in touch with police on the non-emergency number 101."

North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey said he could empathise with the young man's family.

His own mother was injured by a drunk driver in a hit-and-run incident on the Woodvale Road in 1981.

She was left unconscious with a broken arm, leg and pelvis and was in a coma for a number of days.

Mr Humphrey told the Belfast Telegraph: "I'm very sorry to hear this news and my thoughts are with the young man and his family.

"From my own personal experience, I know what that's like after my mother was left seriously ill after a hit-and-run.

"I know what they are going through and hope that the young fellow makes a full and speedy recovery."

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker called for urgent action from the police: "This culture of death driving must end.

"While I know efforts have been made by the PSNI, what is clear is they need stepped up.

"The police must now act urgently to stop these death drivers and keep our community safe once and for all."

Sinn Fein councillor Ryan Murphy said that those responsble for the incident "have shown no regard for anyone".

He added: "There has been an increase in car crime over recent weeks in north Belfast.

"We are working with the police and other statutory agencies to tackle this scourge.

"I would appeal to anyone with information on last night's incident to bring it to the PSNI immediately."

Belfast Telegraph

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