Northern Ireland

Cloughmills crash: Mother and child stable in hospital

The family were walking to school when the collision occurred Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption The family were walking to school along a country road when the collision occurred

Two members of a family struck by a car in a fatal crash in County Antrim remain in hospital.

Eight-year-old Adam Gilmour died in hospital after the family was knocked down in the village of Cloughmills, near Ballymena, on Tuesday.

His mother and a sibling are in a stable condition at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Three children treated at Antrim Area Hospital have been discharged. A sixth child did not need hospital treatment.

An 18-year-old man who was arrested has been released on police bail.

Education Minister John O'Dowd said he has asked his officials to seek a report from the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB).

"I was very saddened to learn of the tragic fatal accident involving the family of pupils on their way to Clough Primary School yesterday," he said.

"My thoughts lie entirely with the children and their mother and wider family circle.

"It would inappropriate for me to comment specifically on the details of the accident as I understand that a police investigation is underway."

The statement follows a claim by North Antrim MLA Jim Allister that the woman had contacted him last month to raise safety concerns about the road.

'No footpath'

He said the woman had warned him that her family would be "wiped out" some morning on their way to school.

"She described how every morning she was having to walk six young children down a country road with no footpath, into Cloughmills, because the school bus wouldn't come up the road to pick them up," he said.

Mr Allister said he wrote to NEELB on her behalf, after she complained that the education authority "refused" to provide school transport to collect her children closer to their home.

In a statement, the NEELB confirmed that it had received correspondence from Mr Allister and had "been reviewing transport provision in the Cloughmills area".

The board added that it had agreed to meet the MLA to discuss the concerns he raised.

However, Mr Allister said he had only heard about that meeting on Tuesday, after the fatal crash.

More on this story