Crash victim making progress

A RATHFRILAND teenager who was left fighting for his life following a horrific car crash last month is out of intensive care.

James Annett (19) was last night described by a spokesperson for the hospital as seriously ill but stable almost four weeks after the car in which he was travelling colided with another on the Banbridge Road just outside Rathfriland. Mr Annett is now being cared for on a ward of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, having spent a number of weeks in the Intenstive Care Unit.

Local minister Reverend Philip Thompson said the news that James has made some progress is positive. “It is just going to be a long process of recovery now,” said Mr Thompson. “He is no longer in a critical condition and has shown signs of improvement but that’s probably really as much as can be said at the minute.”

The 18-year-old driver of the second car was arrested after the incident on suspicion of dangerous driving but was later released on bail as police make further enquiries into the incident. Gary Elliott, the driver of the car in which James was travelling, was released from hospital a few days after the crash.

Support from the local community has continued to pour in for the Annett family, with Mr Thompson saying prayer vigils are still being well attended. “We are still seeing around 40 people attending prayer vigils in First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church Hall on Wednesdays and Sundays. There is still a lot of support out there for James’ family.”