A TEENAGE cyclist was in a critical condition in hospital today after he was knocked off his bike in a road accident.
The 14-year-old paperboy was in intensive care following a collision with a Volvo car in Blackhall.
It is the latest in a spate of road accidents in the Lothians and comes just hours after a 15-year-old boy died in a car smash in West Lothian.
Today's accident happened at around 7.50am on Hillhouse Road, close to the Farmer Autocare garage on Queensferry Road. The youngster had been on a newspaper delivery round.
The boy suffered severe head injuries and was rushed by ambulance to the Sick Kids Hospital.
An eyewitness who drove by the scene shortly after the accident said the Volvo's windscreen was smashed, and police officers were re-directing traffic. The road was re-opened at around 10.30am.
In a separate accident, another young teenager was killed when two cars collided on a quiet road close to Whitburn, shortly before 10pm yesterday. Another four males were injured in the smash, and were all taken to hospital.
The incident happened on the B7066 Whitburn to Greenrigg road, at the junction with Cultside farm, near Polkemmet Country Park. Firefighters were called to the scene and used cutting gear to free a casualty trapped in one of the vehicles.
The 15-year-old victim was one of four passengers in a Renault Clio. The 22-year-old male driver and a 17-year-old boy were taken to Wishaw General Hospital for treatment to minor injuries.
Another 15-year-old boy was taken to Monklands Hospital for treatment to a head injury, while another passenger of the same age was not injured.
The 52-year-old male driver of the other vehicle, a Rover 218, received minor injuries and his 39-year-old passenger was taken to Wishaw General for treatment to minor injuries.
The road was closed for six hours while accident investigators worked at the scene and police are appealing for witnesses.
A police spokeswoman said: "We would appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity of the entrance to the Polkemmet Country Park and may have witnessed the crash, to come forward."
Meanwhile, it emerged today that a young man suffered serious facial injuries when he was knocked off his bike by a hit-and-run driver last week. The 26-year-old fell to the ground when his bike was struck by a vehicle on the A701 near Straiton retail park on Tuesday last week.
The victim, who is believed to live in the Marchmont area of Edinburgh, sustained a broken cheekbone, severe bruising and a cut to his right eye.
He was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after the accident, but has now been referred to St John's Hospital, Livingston, for further treatment.
Police want to trace a black, jeep-like vehicle that was seen at the time of the incident. The man was cycling in the direction of Edinburgh, away from the retail park, when the accident happened.
Last weekend, 40-year-old mother-of-two Lynne Barker died in an alleged hit-and-run accident in Hopetoun Street in Bathgate, West Lothian. Ms Barker, from Avonbridge, had been enjoying a night out with friends at The James Young pub before leaving shortly before closing time. It is understood she stumbled on to the road and was struck by a vehicle.
Police said on Monday a 40-year-old man had been charged in connection with her death.