Derry hit and run - ‘Police let us down’

Teenage hit and run victim Dylan Smith gets assistance from his uncle, Glen Smith, at his Glenview home this week. 0503JM20
Teenage hit and run victim Dylan Smith gets assistance from his uncle, Glen Smith, at his Glenview home this week. 0503JM20

The family of a young Derry man who sustained horrific injuries in a late night hit-and-run say they are furious that it has taken police almost a month to contact them about the 
incident.

The family of a young Derry man who sustained horrific injuries in a late night hit-and-run say they are furious that it has taken police almost a month to contact them about the 
incident.

Dylan Smith (20) was crossing the Glengalliagh Road late on February 9 last when he was ‘sent flying’ by a speeding car.

One of Dylan’s arms and a leg were badly smashed in the collision and he subsequently underwent hours of surgery to insert a series of pins and bolts into his shattered limbs.

The extent of his injuries is graphically illustrated in a number of photos taken by a family friend and published in today’s ‘Journal’.

Since the incident, Dylan has been unable to leave the house and can only move about with the aid of a walking frame.

Glen Smith, Dylan’s uncle, says police made contact with the family only this week - almost four weeks after the incident.

“To be honest, we feel badly let down by the police,” he told 
the ‘Journal’.

“I spoke to police at the scene of the hit-and-run on the night it happened and I gave them all the relevant contact details but, since then, despite repeated efforts on our behalf, we hadn’t heard a peep from them. It was only on Wednesday of this week, after they were contacted by the ‘Journal’, that we heard 
from them.

“It’s been put to me that there may have been some confusion over contact details but, I’m sorry, that isn’t a good enough excuse in this day and age. Surely they could have found other means to get in touch with us. They are the police after all.

“And, all this time, the guys responsible for nearly killing Dylan are still out there, no doubt flying about in that car.

“They’ve had a full month to cover their tracks, get rid of the car or whatever. The police should have been on their trail from day one. If they’re not caught, they are going to end up killing someone.

“Sometimes you’d be forgiven for thinking we’re the forgotten people down here in Galliagh.”

Mr. Smith says he has, on behalf of the family, lodged a complaint with the Police Ombudsman.

Glen Smith has described the car that hit his nephew as a small, dark-coloured model, believed to be a black Vauxhall Corsa.

Police, meanwhile, have responded to Mr. Smith’s claims.

A spokesperson told the ‘Journal’ yesterday: “Police have already been in contact with the family representative to address these issues.

“We can confirm that the original investigating officer did call at the hospital to see the victim and there were subsequent attempts made to contact the family. The family will continue to be kept up-to-date with the investigation as it progresses.”

After being contacted by the Journal yesterday, police issued an appeal for anyone with information on the February 9 incident - which took place at around 10 p.m. close to the entrance of Fergleen Park - to contact them on Tel 0845 600 8000 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1121. It is understood a large crowd was in the area at that time.