Hunt on for hit-and-run driver as teen left in critical condition

A HIT-AND-RUN driver who left a teenage boy fighting for his life in hospital is being hunted by police today.

The 15-year-old victim was struck on Dalry Road by a silver Renault Clio that was dumped nearby minutes later.

Horrified witnesses said the force of the impact threw the youngster against a bus stop several yards away from where he was hit.

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He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

A 21-year-old, who came to police voluntarily after the incident and was helping police with their inquiries, has been released without charge.

Police would not reveal whether the car was stolen, although reports claimed the driver was a joyrider.

The vehicle was found in a car park off Murieston Crescent, Dalry, shortly after the accident.

Officers appealed for anyone who saw the incident or saw the driver abandon the vehicle to contact them immediately.

The accident happened exactly three weeks after 16-year-old Stuart Brockie was killed on the same stretch of Dalry Road, after being hit by another silver Renault. Floral tributes were still tied to two lampposts near the scene.

After yesterday's incident, which occurred at around 2pm, police closed the road for several hours as forensic teams and crash investigators scoured the area for clues. One local store manager, who asked not to be named, said he had seen the aftermath of the accident. He said: "I saw the ambulance arrive and they were treating the kid next to the bus stop. It looked fairly serious.

"This is a dangerous road and it has become a lot busier since the diversions from Shandwick Place were put in.

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"It is so strange that this has happened exactly three weeks after that boy was killed here, and it is almost exactly the same spot as well."

Paul Bullen, manager of the nearby Delish sandwich shop, said vehicles often came around the corner from Haymarket at high speed.

"I couldn't believe it when I was told there had been another accident there, and maybe now something will be done to make that area safer," he said. "Cars come round that corner at speed all the time, and you get drivers doing U-turns there and overtaking.

"It's so dangerous, and because there is only one crossing point and no barriers, there are always people running across the road."

The hit-and-run car, a Y-reg silver Renault Clio, was dumped a short drive away along Dalry Road, in the quiet parking lot of the Linton Court serviced apartments.

The area was sealed as more forensic experts got to work, while officers carried out door-to-door enquiries in the hope of finding a witness.

One local workman, who asked not be named, said: "They had the car covered up with a tarpaulin and they have had teams of forensics guys going over it – and sniffer dogs as well.

"I didn't see anyone parking the car, and the first I knew about it was when I saw the police arrive."

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A police spokesman said: "We are extremely anxious to trace the driver, and we want anyone who saw him make off from the scene to contact us immediately."

Anyone with any information should contact Lothian and Borders police on 0131-311 3131, or Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111 in confidence.

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