A nine-year-old boy has died and another boy is in a critical condition in hospital after a crash involving scrambler bikes in Northern Ireland.
The collision happened in Ballymena, Co Antrim late on Thursday afternoon.
Both children are understood to have been riding separate bikes that crashed head-on in a park in the Dunvale area of the town’s Dunclug estate shortly before 5pm.
They were taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, one by air ambulance.
The nine-year-old died in the early hours of Friday.
The other boy, who is aged 13, is understood to be in a critical condition in hospital.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has appealed for witnesses to the collision to come forward.
The local community has been shocked and saddened at this tragic death. It is particularly devastating given the age of the young boy
Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan
Fr Patrick Delargy, parish priest of All Saints’ Church in Ballymena, visited the family of the nine-year-old on Friday.
“They were totally exhausted, they were coming back from hospital,” he told BBC NI.
“They find it very hard to process the whole matter.
“There are not the words, I find it very hard to find the right words to say in those situations.”
The cleric said he prayed with the family and he believed it brought them some comfort.
The priest expressed hopes the injured boy would recover.
In a statement, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it responded to a 999 call at 4.47pm on Thursday.
“NIAS despatched three emergency crews and a doctor to the scene and also tasked the Charity Air Ambulance, with HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) crew on board, to the incident,” said the statement.
“Following assessment and initial treatment, one child was flown by Air Ambulance to the Royal Group of Hospitals in Belfast while the other was taken to the same location by ambulance.”
Ian Paisley, DUP MP for North Antrim, said the families involved were in his prayers.
Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan expressed his condolences.
“The local community has been shocked and saddened at this tragic death. It is particularly devastating given the age of the young boy.
“My thoughts and sympathies are with his family, his young friends and his loved ones.”
Alliance MLA Patricia O’Lynn described the incident as a “tragedy”.
“The entire North Antrim Alliance team sends our thoughts and condolences to the family at this difficult time,” she said.