Mother in critical condition after being hit by scrambler motorbike while walking dog
A mother-of-three young children was in a critical condition in hospital last night after being struck a by scrambler motorbike in a forest park.
It's understood the woman, who is in her 30s and from the Colin area of west Belfast, was walking her dog beside the lake in Colin Glen Forest Park when she was knocked down at around 6pm yesterday.
Police arrested one man after the collision, with a second man detained at around 9pm.
Local Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann visited the scene shortly after the incident.
"There is a problem with these scrambler bikes," she said. "These vehicles should not be driven anywhere near where people are walking.
"Scrambler bikes and quads are supposed to be supervised.
"I was speaking to staff in Colin Glen Park who say with the good weather more scramblers have been coming in over the recent weeks, and they have been speaking to the PSNI on that."
She added: "Our first thoughts and prayers are with this woman and her family."
Colin O'Neill, chief executive of the Colin Glen Park Trust, said members of the public who witnessed the crash had called the emergency services.
"The incident needs to be investigated, but first and foremost we're concerned about the health and wellbeing of the person who's been hurt and that's what we're thinking about at this time," he added.
SDLP councillor Brian Heading confirmed scrambler bikes had been a recurring problem in the area.
"The people who sell these bikes need to take responsibility for this accident and I do encourage the police to make that part of their investigation," he said.
"I don't want to dump this all on the police, but they can't catch these guys - it takes an accident before they are able to make an arrest.
"These guys are known to be romping around open green spaces, uninsured and a threat to anybody who happens to be doing it; it's usually teenagers.
"It's like a black market almost; someone will buy a tin of petrol and then they can rake around on it for hours."
In March another dirt bike rider in Colin Glen Park was lucky not to have killed someone after crashing through the back window of a car, landing in the back seat.
The rider of the unregistered motorbike then fled the scene.
A police statement warned of the danger: "If your child or young person has an off-road bike, you must be aware of what they are doing with it and where they are riding it.
"Too many people have experienced the worst - police arriving at their door, to tell them a loved one has been either killed or seriously injured - because of the inappropriate use of these vehicles."
The PSNI has appealed to anyone in the Colin Glen area at the time of yesterday's incident, and who witnessed the collision, to call the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1041 for July 17.