A FOUR-year-old boy who was knocked down by a truck just metres from his home was killed instantly, distraught neighbours said today.
Conor McDaid, an only child, from Townley Manor, Tullyallen, Drogheda, Co Louth, was hit by the truck just after he returned home from a day out with his mother Mary.
He had jumped on his bicycle while his mother took their belongings out of the car at about 5.30pm.
"The truck went right over him, the poor lad didn't have a chance. It's only a small comfort to think that he didn't suffer, it was instant," one resident told the Herald.
Emergency services rushed to the scene and Conor was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where he was pronounced dead.
He was described today by a neighbour as "a loveable little lad" who was due to start primary school in the next few weeks.
The child's father, Paul, was not at home when the accident happened. He rushed back from Kilkenny.
One local woman said: "I heard a woman screaming and came running out of my house. His mum had been in the garden, they had just arrived back home. I think she was just taking things out of their car when the terrible accident happened.
"As far as I know they had been on a family trip to McDonald's as a treat. It is such a tragedy, my heart is broken."
Today a simple shrine of teddy bears and flowers had been placed at the scene .
"The family only moved into the area a couple of months ago," said another neighbour. "The whole community is heartbroken about the loss of such a lovely little boy. It is terribly tragic."
The driver of the truck also lives in the estate and has children of his own.
"I hear he is in total shock the poor man. It was just a tragic accident," said one resident. The Garda Technical Bureau cordoned off the scene for forensic examination.
Local priest Father Laurence Caraher arrived to the family home to comfort the boy's grief-stricken family and neighbours.