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Little Zac Higgins who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in the city
Little Zac Higgins who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in the city
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Hit and run toddler in intensive care as arrested teen is released from custody

A male teenager arrested in connection with a serious hit-and-run in Cork was released from Garda custody this morning.

The Cork toddler who was seriously injured in the incident on Monday is being cared for in the intensive care unit of the Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

Three-year-old Zac Higgins, who was knocked down by a car on the road outside his house after he ran out after a ball, suffered a bleed on his brain, a broken shoulder and collarbone, and required plastic surgery on his hand and his head to be glued.

The car, a blue Mazda 6, which was involved in the incident that occurred at 4pm on Monday afternoon, fled the scene, but was later found abandoned nearby.

The toddler was transferred from CUH to Temple Street Children’s Hospital by ambulance on Monday night for treatment.

Zac’s father Paul has appealed for anyone with information about the incident to contact Gardai and yesterday evening a teenager was arrested in connection with the incident.

Paul Higgins pictured with his son Zac who was involved in the hit and run accident. Pic: Paul Higgins Facebook account
Paul Higgins pictured with his son Zac who was involved in the hit and run accident. Pic: Paul Higgins Facebook account
Residents of Castle Meadows estate have described the horrific moment they found two-year-old Zac Higgins lying on the road after being the victim of a hit-and-run.

Secretary of the Castle Meadows Residents’ Association, Sean O’Flynn, who has been living in the estate since it was built in 2002, said that the incident brought the community together in a way he had never seen before.

“I had been packing my campervan for an upcoming trip when my neighbour, who was on the green in front of the road where Zac was knocked down, started screaming,” he said.

Mr O’Flynn said he ran towards the neighbour who was speaking incoherently and pointing towards Zac, who was lying on the road.

Ita Leahy, who lives next door to little Zac, his mum Aishling, his dad Paul, and his siblings, told The Echo it was her 16-year-old son who ran and broke the news to the stricken toddler’s mother.

Ita, who has been living in the estate for the past 16 years, called the ambulance for the boy.

Describing Zac, she said he was soccer-mad and always in his front garden playing football or over on the green playing soccer with the other children in the estate.

“He is a lovely little boy, always playing football.

“He is well liked by the other kids,” she said.

Ita sent a text message to Paul and Aishling to offer her support and to make sure they knew that she was there for them.

“We are a very close community here. They know themselves all they have to do is ask.”

The area at Castle Meadows estate off Skehard Road where Zac was injured in a hit and run collision. Picture Denis Minihane.
The area at Castle Meadows estate off Skehard Road where Zac was injured in a hit and run collision. Picture Denis Minihane.
Mr O’Flynn said neighbours offered exceptional assistance to Zac and his family in the aftermath of the hit-and-run.

“I was heartened by the community response. One neighbour put a jacket under the boy’s head and was holding his hand and another was helping Aishling and Paul,” he said.

People in the park opposite the Higgins home also offered assistance and a handful of homes with CCTV have handed over the footage to the gardaí.

A number of neighbours who witnessed the incident said Zac’s parents were absolutely distraught.

Renate Raubickiene, who has been a neighbour of the Higgins family for the past seven years, said she was angry, sad, and shocked at the incident.

“To leave the boy there like that —how could anyone do that?”

Renate said she and her husband were thinking of the Higgins family and wanted to help out in any way possible.

Gabriel Albuquerque, who lives around the corner from the Higgins family, said: “this is a nice quiet area, there are a lot of families here”.

The residents’ association has been campaigning for years to have speed bumps installed in the estate but to no avail.

Zac’s brother and sister, Max (7) and Belle (4), have been staying with family relatives since the incident.