Tragedy | 

Boy (1) confirmed dead and grandmother critical after crash involving lorry

Police and emergency services at the scene on Moira Main Street on Wednesday. Photo: Pacemaker

Brett CampbellBelfast Telegraph

The one-year-old baby boy who died after being struck by a lorry in Moira was Frank Michael McIlduff.

It’s understood the child was being pushed by his grandmother who was also struck by the vehicle in the Meeting Street area shortly after 1.40pm on Wednesday.

According to a death notice the infant was from the College Grove area of Lurgan and was the “precious son” of Fra and Mary.

It describes baby Frank as the “a much loved grandson of Pauline and the late Francis McIlduff and Margaret and Michael Gracey”.

“Saint Philomena, our friend in Heaven, look after him,” the notice reads.

Police have confirmed the woman injured in the single vehicle collision was aged in her 60s and remains critically ill in hospital.

“Officers attended the scene along with colleagues from the other emergency services,” a PSNI spokesperson said.

“Sadly the boy, aged one, died at the scene.

"A woman, aged in her 60s, was taken to hospital for treatment to serious injuries."

An investigation is now underway to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Eyewitness Joanne Crockard was on her way to a cafe in the town when she stumbled upon the aftermath of the collision.

"I turned the corner and saw the horrific scene,” she told BBC Radio Ulster.

"I walked straight across, I heard the grandmother breathing.

"A local butcher was lying down beside her trying to calm her.”

Ms Crockard, who flagged down her church minister who was passing nearby, said she was struggling to comprehend what had happened.

"I was told that he had gone already,” she recalled.

The witness said helpless local residents broke down and wept while waiting on emergency services to arrive as she contacted her GP to say there had been “a terrible accident”.

"I just started crying for the child,” Ms Crockard continued.

"It’s not what you expect [to see] in Moira.

“I’m just really shocked by the whole thing… I can’t fathom how everyone [in the family] must be feeling – and the poor driver of the lorry was in such a state.”

DUP councillor Caleb McCready said the child was being pushed in a pram by their grandmother when they were both struck by a lorry.

Main Street in the town and the off-slip from the M1 was closed for a period following the collision as PSNI and NI Fire and Rescue Service crews attended the scene.

The route has since re-opened.

DUP Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said that the news was devastating and passed his condolences on to the family.

“For this family to lose a child in such tragic circumstances is just absolutely unthinkable. We think also of the child’s grandmother who was there at the time and we hope that she makes a good recovery,” he said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time. Clearly the police will want to investigate the circumstances of this tragic accident “

He noted that part of Moira can be quite busy, and “we will need to examine what road safety implications may arise from this incident”.

Sir Jeffrey added that his “thoughts and prayers are with the families involved at this time”.

Councillor Jim Dillon said he was told that a grandmother was crossing the road with a pram close to traffic lights when they were struck by the lorry.

Mr Dillon said he was informed that a child had died and it has come as a “dreadful shock” to the local community.

He added that bystanders had said the grandmother was trapped under the lorry at that time.

Explaining that he knew the lorry driver, he added: “I want to express my deepest sympathies to the family concerned and to the lorry driver. It is an absolute tragedy that nobody could have envisaged.”

MLA Sorcha Eastwood said she was devastated by the news a family had lost a “special little child”.

“My heart is just broken for them and I know we will all hold the family in prayer over the next while, God bless them all. Just devastating,” she added.

MLA Robbie Butler said in a social media post: “In respect of this awful tragedy in Moira earlier can we take a moment to think on the life changing realty for this dear child’s family. Thoughts and prayers with all connected to this accident.”

Pretty Mary’s bar in the town posted on social media that it would close on Thursday as a mark of respect after the tragedy.

The Ambulance Service said it had been called to an incident in Meeting Street in Moira at 1.42pm.

Two ambulances, two ambulance officers and a hazardous area response team were dispatched to the incident.

"One patient was taken to Royal Victoria Hospital by ambulance,” a spokesperson said.

Anyone who was travelling in the Meeting Street or Main Street area at the time of the collision, or anyone who may have witnessed the incident or captured it on a dash-cam, should contact detectives on 101, quoting reference 969 08/03/23.

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