Hit-and-run mum lay for 20 minutes

By Gemma Burns

A woman injured in a suspected hit-and-run incident in West Belfast says she may have lain unconscious by the side of road and ignored by passing pedestrians and motorists for up to 20 minutes.
Ballymurphy mum Deirdre Sloan is believed to have been hit by a car as she crossed the Whiterock Road at around 7.30pm last Thursday night. Because the mother-of-six was badly concussed in the accident she is unsure of events leading up to her injuries, but subsequent flashbacks and a PSNI investigation has led her to believe she was the victim of a hit-and-run.
Deirdre believes she may have been lying at the side of the road for up to 20 minutes before a Good Samaritan motorist came to her aid. She says she believes she’s lucky to be alive.
Her injuries include a fractured eye socket, extensive bruising, concuss- ion and trapped air in her stomach that was so severe doctors carred out emerg-ency surgery on her stomach fearing she had ruptured her spleen.
Deirdre said as a result of the accident she has some memory loss and the exact circumstances are hazy – she knows only she was hit by a car.
“I was walking to the shop between about 7pm and 7.30pm,” she said. “I remember walking down the Whiterock Road and then the next thing being woken up by a woman.
“I was lying at the side of the road but I didn’t know where I was. She picked me up and I just kept asking to get taken home, so a taxi driver stopped and he took me home.
“I didn’t know what happened to me at first but it was only later on I kept remembered hitting the bonnet of a car and knew that’s what had happened.”
Deirdre’s husband Pat had been waiting for her to return home.
“The door went and she was half carried in by a taxi driver covered in blood. She hardly knew where she was,” he said. “We rang an ambulance and went to the Royal. The doctors said she had a fractured eye socket, bruising all over and bad concussion. They thought she might have hurt her spleen and did emergency surgery but they said it was trapped air because of the impact.”
Pat said his family is angry and distressed at the thought that someone would leave their mother for dead by the side of the road.
“The kids are devastated and really angry someone would do this. And to think that it might have been about 20 minutes of her lying there with no-one doing anything to help.”
Deirdre said she’s lucky to be alive and added that things could have been a lot worse.
“I just keep thinking what if they had hit a child? There were lots of kids out going to Halloween things and they might have been killed. It’s scary to think what could have happened.”

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