Belfast Telegraph

Boy (11) killed and two still critically ill
Road crash horror for family out walking dog

By Peter Cardwell
20 December 2003

RELATIVES of a young boy killed as a car ploughed into a family told today how they had been out walking a new puppy when the horror happened.

Christopher Shaw, who was killed instantly in the accident in west Belfast last night, was due to celebrate his 12th birthday on Monday.

His brother Darren (13) and Emma Lynch, a family friend, are both critically ill in the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Christopher's sister Claire, aged nine, was also injured in the horrific accident and is in a stable condition.

The accident happened at the junction of the Springfield Road and Falls Road at 7.45pm last night, within yards of the Royal Victoria Hospital, where the children were rushed for emergency treatment in the intensive care unit.

Police said a red Vauxhall Astra car, which was travelling in the same direction as the family, careered off the road and collided with traffic lights, tearing up underground cabling and dragging the traffic signals for about 15 metres.

Christopher was killed instantly.

Police said a man was arrested at the scene.

Michael Shaw, his three children and Claire's friend Emma were out for a walk with a new pup the family had recently acquired.

Mr Shaw and his wife Tina were today keeping a vigil at the Royal Victoria Hospital where Darren is being treated.

A relative of the family, who declined to be named, said today: "It's a big shock. We haven't begun to come to terms with this yet because we haven't started to feel yet.

"Christopher was a child who always had this cheeky grin.

"The family are well respected in the area. Michael was always out playing football with his children.

"You want to see the state of people on the street last night."

Speaking at the scene, Chief Inspector Mark Gilmore said: "My sympathies are with the friends and families of those involved in this accident.

"Three other children were involved. A boy has died and two others are in a critical condition."

The accident took place within yards of the Royal Victoria Hospital and the children were taken there for treatment.

Police at New Barnsley station have appealed to anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

SDLP councillor for the Lower Falls area, Margaret Walsh, said the community was devastated by the accident.

"For all of us it's a feeling of great shock. We're all thinking about the children and the family, my heart goes out to them now, especially at Christmas.

"I can't imagine what they're going through at the moment," she said.

Sinn Fein councillor for the area, Tom Hartley, said: "It's terrible that this is visited on any family, and especially before Christmas.

"It is always very difficult for any family, and especially as it concerns a young life.

"My sympathy and the sympathy of the people of Belfast go out to this family."

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