Cookstown hit and run victim ‘left for dead’

Micheal who spent three days in intensive care
Micheal who spent three days in intensive care

A Cookstown man is ‘lucky to be alive’ after he was knocked down following a hit and run incident on the Sweep Road area of Cookstown.

Micheál McKenna, sustained serious injuries following the incident which took place in the early hours of Sunday 2nd February. The 26-year-old underwent emergency surgery last Sunday and needed a blood transfusion when he was left with numerous broken bones in one of his legs, a broken arm, cracked ribs, damage one of his lungs and stitches to the head.

Micheál’s mother Martina told the MAIL her son is ‘lucky to be alive’ and has a long recovery ahead of him as he will have to learn to walk again.

Martina described the moment she got the knock on the door to hear that Micheál had been knocked down,

She said: “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to open the door in the middle of the night and find two police officers. I actually thought it was probably just a broken arm and he could get home. So it wasn’t until I got to Antrim that I was told that he was very ill. He was then moved to the Royal later that day. He will be in the Royal until they can teach him to walk again.”

Good Samartian, Rebecca Wilson (23) was driving past the area at the time when she noticed Micheál lying on the ground.

Rebecca told the MAIL: “I nearly drove past him, I thought it might have just been a drunk man lying on the ground, but because it was wet and cold I wanted to make sure he got home. Then when I got out of the car that’s when I realised, there was blood on the ground, coming from his head, he was lying on his side, just like a car had thrown him onto the ground.

“I knew he hadn’t just fallen. Straight away I rang the ambulance, covered him over with a coat, put pressure on his head, comforted him, rubbed him to try and keep him warm, and the police were on the scene five minutes later.”

Rebecca kept talking to Micheal while they waited for the ambulance she said he was ‘totally concious’ at the time.

She said: “I’m glad that I got there in time, but completely disgusted that other people had drove by and walked past him and I knew they had because it was so busy.”

Appealing for the person responsible to come forward Micheál’s mother Martina said: “I would say just think, it could have been a member of your family lying on the road, and if Rebecca hadn’t found him, he wouldn’t have survived, he would have been dead within hours. All the doctors, surgeons, consultants have told us that he is lucky to be alive with his injuries. She effectively saved his life.

Martina contuined: “That’s how everyone should be, everyone should be prepared to stop. She (Rebecca) said that she only did what every person should do, it was natural for her to stop and it would be to me as well. But to leave someone, and everyone that left him, not just the driver, it is a busy area especially at that time of the night and there were a lot of people that went past and a lot of cars that went past, now that’s hurtful. It is obviously not a natural instinct for everyone anymore and that is the very sad thing about this.”

Martin added that she or Micheál bear no resentment towards the person responsible: “We have no anger towards them at all, he just wants to get better, and that is all we care about is him getting better. I am hurt at what they done, but the most important thing is for him to get better.”

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward and confirmed to the MAIL that investigations are still continuing and they are pursing ‘hit and run’ as one line of enquiry.

Anyone who can help police with their enquiries is asked to contact them on 0845 600 8000 or alternatively people can contact them annonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.