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Officer ‘stable’ in hospital as police reveal lorry which struck him was stolen

Police Helicopter

The officer pinned against a police patrol car by a lorry which fled the scene remains in a “stable” condition in hospital today (Saturday).

Detectives are continuing to investigate the hit and run on the Mullaghduff Road area of Cullyhanna yesterday lunchtime.

The police officer was injured when he was pinned between the lorry and a police patrol car after the lorry was driven at speed directly at him.

Superintendent Simon Walls said: “The officer remains in hospital receiving treatment for his injuries. His condition is described as stable and he had a comfortable night in hospital.

“He is receiving treatment for a fractured ankle, injuries to his back and a wound to his head. His injuries are not considered life threatening and it is hoped he will not be required to spend a long time in hospital.

“The officer and his family appreciate the support and well wishes received since the incident.”

Superintendent Walls continued: “The investigation is progressing and it is believed that the low loader lorry involved in the incident was stolen a short time earlier in the Kiltybane Road area of Cullyhanna.

“A low loader matching the description was located burnt out in the area of Mullyash Mountain in Republic of Ireland. This vehicle has been recovered by officers from An Garda Síochána for forensic examination.

“We are keen to trace the movements of this lorry yesterday and locate its driver. The lorry is described as low loader with a white cab, a yellow bumper, a red low loader body and carrying a white or silver vehicle.

“Anyone who saw a lorry matching this description in the Cullyhanna area or anyone who can assist the police investigation in any way is asked to contact Newry Reactive and Organised crime detectives by calling 101. If someone would prefer to provide information about this incident anonymously, they can contact the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”

The policeman had been part of a local policing team which had been following up on the overnight theft of an ATM from a filling station in Bessbrook.

 

The team had been travelling along the Mullaghduff Road in Cullyhanna at lunchtime on Friday when they came upon a suspicious lorry transporting a car.

Superintendent Simon Walls said: “As one of the officers exited the police vehicle to speak to the driver, the lorry was driven at speed directly at the officer, striking him and pinning him between the lorry and a police patrol vehicle.

“The lorry then fled the scene.”

It is understood the officer sustained head injuries after being struck and his colleagues rushed to help him, providing emergency first aid.

The PSNI helicopter was then used to transport the officer to hospital in Belfast.

After undergoing medical assessment, he has now been described as being in a stable condition while the hunt goes on for the driver of the lorry.

The PSNI has described the incident as “callous” and said they are sure the community of south Armagh will join in wishing the officer a “speedy and complete recovery”.

The incident is being treated as attempted murder, as police say accounts at the scene would indicate it was a deliberate act.

Newry and Armagh Sinn Fein MLA Megan Fearon was among those to condemn the incident and offered her best wishes to the injured officer for a full and speedy recovery.

“This was an horrendous attack and there can be no justification for it,” she said.

Read more news:

Hit and run: Police officer struck by lorry in ‘attempted murder’

Watch: Shocking moment thieves target ATM in Bessbrook

Bessbrook ATM raid: One man arrested; forensics examine white van

Man taken to hospital following county Armagh hit and run incident

Ten tonne dumper truck stolen off county Armagh building site

Pictures: Shop ripped apart in south Armagh ATM raid

Co Armagh woman’s warning to lone female drivers after car park incident tonight

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