Teenager (15) hospitalised after being struck by car driven onto pedestrian path outside Blanchardstown Shopping Centre
Eyewitnesses describe terrifying scenes outside busy shops and restaurants
Terrified shoppers watched in horror as a car drove into a pedestrian area and mowed down a 15-year-old boy in Dublin this afternoon.
The car was driven at high speed through a paved area reserved for pedestrians at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and struck the youth.
The boy was knocked to the ground and lay motionless as the driver stopped his black BMW 5 Series car and turned it around and drove back out through the pedestrian area which is cordoned off by bollards on both sides.
Women in nearby restaurants screamed as the car sped past them within inches of the restaurant windows.
Another youth who was walking with the victim suffered a grazed leg as people went to the assistance of the 15-year-old boy lying on the pavement.
Emergency service personnel treated the boy as he lay on the ground, placing his neck in a brace and covering him with a blanket before taking him to hospital by ambulance.
The teenager's injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
One witness said it appeared the driver of the car was determined to knock down the youth.
The car drove at speed for more than 40 metres in the pedestrians-only area before striking the victim.
The incident happened shortly before 5pm after a violent altercation between two groups of young people in the vicinity.
Gardai said they are searching for the car and driver who left the scene of the incident immediately.
A 28-year-old mother-of-one, who was sitting with her daughter and mother in the nearby Starbucks restaurant, said "The driver drove down the path and knocked the guy down. He turned the car back around after the guy was knocked down and sped off again."
"It was deliberate. Definitely deliberate," she said.
"There was also an argument going on between youths near the Leisureplex nearby," she said.
"We came out of the restaurant and we could see the guy who was hit by the car lying on the ground. He wasn't moving. There was a big commotion," she said.
"The driver was in danger of hitting loads of people when he was speeding on the pavement," she said.
"Three girls sitting inside the window in Starbucks got the fright of their life because the car actually drove within inches of the windows like a flash of lighting.
"It was very frightening. To say the least," she said.
"The guy who was hit with the car was wearing a cap and the force of the car hitting him caused the cap to end up about 20 yards away. The friend who was with him later picked up the cap and said his own leg was scraped by the car," she said.
The woman's 60-year-old mother who also witnessed the commotion said: "The girls beside us who saw it were very upset.
"Staff screamed at people to get back inside and they locked the doors," she said.
An employee of a nearby business said he saw the victim lying under blankets surrounded by ambulance workers.