AN EIGHT-year-old boy has died after he was knocked down by a car as he walked to school with his mother and five siblings.
The mother of tragic Adam Gilmour, Sarah Hanna, had raised her fears about the safety of the narrow country road just weeks earlier, saying the family would be "wiped out" on their way to school.
The children - who ranged in age from a toddler to a teenager - were walking along the Loughill Road on the outskirts of the village of Cloughmills, Co Antrim, when the crash happened at around 8.30am yesterday. Four of the other children were hospitalised with injuries not believed to be life-threatening while the sixth sibling was not injured. The mangled remains of a pram were visible on the road as forensic experts carried out an examination of the scene.
An 18-year-old man was arrested at the scene.
Jim Allister, a north Antrim member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, said Ms Hanna had warned him of the danger of the road weeks ago.
"The event is all the more distressing because just three weeks ago the mother called at my office and warned that, because the education and library board was failing to provide transport for her children, they would be 'wiped out' some morning on the road.
"The lady was particularly concerned that this situation was continuing into the winter months," he added.
"I am most distressed that her words have proved to be much more prophetic than anyone would have thought."
Neighbours said Ms Hanna brought her children to the centre of the village every day for onward transport to schools in the wider area.
A local resident said: "They were lovely wee children, terribly good looking and well-dressed and well provided for."
She added that the road had no footpath or lights.
Meanwhile, tributes have been paid to a man described as "one of life's gentlemen" who was knocked down and killed just yards from his home.
The victim, named locally as Vincent Ryan (44), was killed after a collision with a silver Ford Focus saloon as he crossed Main Street in Hospital, Co Limerick, at 2.10am yesterday.
"He was a genuine, lovely young man," said a local man.
Mr Ryan had been left with a limp following a car crash several years ago.