Teenager arrested after Cork hit-and-run, as three-year-old in coma

Councillor appeals for all car occupants to come forward; Gardaí examine blue Mazda 6

Paul Higgins and his son Zac. ‘To see your child that way is the worst feeling I ever had in my life .’ Photograph: Facebook

Paul Higgins and his son Zac. ‘To see your child that way is the worst feeling I ever had in my life .’ Photograph: Facebook

 

A teenager is being detained at Bridewell Garda Station in Cork in relation to a hit and run which left a toddler in an induced coma arising out of serious injuries.

Zac Higgins (3) is being treated for his injuries at Temple Street Hospital in Dublin. He was transferred from Cork University Hospital after the accident which occurred on Monday afternoon.

A 17-year-old was arrested in connection with the hit and run in Mahon on the south side of Cork city on Tuesday at 2pm.

However, gardaí believe there were a number of people in the car at the time of the incident and are appealing to the passengers to come forward.

‘Worst feeling’

Meanwhile, Zac’s father has said seeing his son this way was the “worst feeling” he ever had.

Paul Higgins expressed his thanks to paramedics and neighbours “who went above and beyond” the call of duty following the incident.

In a Facebook post Mr Higgins thanked all those who had came to their assistance over the last twenty four hours.

“I would like to thank everyone who sent well wishes today. After the longest four hours in the CUH [Cork University Hospital] our little warrior hit the road to Dublin by ambulance. He will love that when he wakes to hear it. He arrived at Temple Street Hospital straight for CT scan which showed good results so far.

“To see your child that way is the worst feeling I ever had in my life today. Special thanks to all our friends in Castlemeadows who went above and beyond.”

Zac is currently in an induced coma. His collarbone is broken and other bones are cracked and damaged. It is understood he will survive the incident but there is a long road to recovery.

Mr Higgins and his wife Aishling Sexton are with Zac at Temple Street Hospital in Dublin.

Zac incurred the injuries when he ran on to the road while playing with a ball near Castle Meadows on the Skehard Road in Mahon in Cork city at about 4pm on Monday. He was hit by a blue Mazda 6 which left the scene. Gardaí later found a car which matched the description and it is being forensically examined.

 

Cllr Chris O’Leary, who knows the family, appealed to the driver or witnesses to the “horrific” incident to contact gardaí.

“I would ask people to come forward. I think the people involved in it should give themselves in to be honest. And I would also say to people if you have information, footage on your dashcam or on your phone please give that to the gardaí.

“The gardaí have been trying to piece together what happened and how it happened and I would encourage the individual who was driving to come forward. There was no caution from the driver who just left him there.”

Mr O’Leary said Zac’s parents are “appalled” that somebody would knock a child down and not hand themselves in.

It was believed that there were two or three occupants of the car.

Door-to-door enquiries were being conducted in the locality and relevant CCTV footage will be checked if available.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Anglesea Street Garda station on 021-4522000 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111.