City Traffic Victims Fight for Their Lives; Bedside Vigils as Communities Dispute 'Accidents'

Article excerpt

TWO young men were fighting for their lives last night after being knocked down in contentious road traffic accidents in north Belfast.

A 21-year-old man was critically injured after being struck by an Army vehicle in the New Lodge area early on Saturday morning.

Hours later, another man was struck by a car on North Queen Street in the Tiger's Bay area and was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

PSNI Supt David Boultwood said the incident in Tiger's Bay was ''a deliberate attempt to kill'' and that police were treating it as attempted murder.

Mr Boultwood rejected notions that the attack was in retaliation for the incident on Saturday morning.

In an appeal for information regarding the incident, he said witnesses had told how the car mounted the pavement as it swerved to hit the man.

The purple Seat Toledo,registration VIA 9374, was found burned out in the New Lodge area.

Detectives have appealed to anyone who witnessed the incident or who saw the car abandoned to call 9065 0222.

Police want anyone who was in the North Queen Street area between 9.45 and 10pm, or the Victoria Parade after 10pm, to come forward.

The DUP's Nigel Dodds, MP for the area, said the hit-and-run incident followed a number of incursions by republicans into the nearby Tiger's Bay area on Friday when houses and cars were attacked.

DUP councillor Ian Crozier said: ''I would appeal to people that they would not walk into this trap that is being set for them and retaliate and make the situation worse.''

Former UDP chairman John White last night told the News Letter that he was called into Tiger's Bay to calm tension. …