Hit and run toddler was just inches from death

Thomas Smylie. INBLThomas
Thomas Smylie. INBLThomas

The father of a two-year-old Katesbridge toddler knocked down in a hit and run incident at Corbet Lough, Banbridge, on Sunday afternoon says his son is very lucky to be alive.

Paul Smylie was out with his son Thomas (2) and 15-year-old daughter Tara for an afternoon at the lough.

After feeding the ducks, the family was walking to the nearby play-park when the incident occured.

A Volkswagen car reversed over the child’s leg. When Paul realised what was happening he and Tara screamed at the driver to stop.

“The driver and his male passenger then just drove forward over the child again,” said Paul.

“I could not believe what I was seeing. Yes granted, they might not have known they reversed over the child the first time but to be told what they had done then drive over his leg for a second time, then just casually drive off...

It’s every parents’ nightmare. It’s disgusting. He’s very lucky to be alive that there is no doubt.

“He could have died. When they drove over him again they could have gravely damaged him.”

The boy was left with bruises along his leg with possible ligament damage.

The little boy was discharged from the the Royal Victoria Hospital on Monday lunchtime and recovering well at home.

He was suffering from cuts and bruises after being struck by a Volkswagen car around 4.20pm on Sunday.

One relative posted on Facebook, “Our wee man is doing well thanks every one.”

Another relative Lauren Smylie said, “He is doing fine thanks folks just hope the person gets caught laughing about it! No fun and games when it comes to this.”

Police are appealing for information in relation to the incident.

The car is described as being a blue coloured Volkswagen type car.

They would like to hear from anyone who witnessed this incident or has information that may assist their investigation. They can be contacted on 101, quoting ref: 841 130316.

DUP Councillor Carla Lockhart said she was shocked at hearing the news of the accident.

“A little child is a precious gift and we could be dealing with a tragedy,” she said.

“My prayers are with him and his family as he makes his recovery.”