A 10-year-old boy is in a coma and had to have his leg amputated after he was hit by a horse box in Bury.

Oliver Hacking was crossing Bolton Road when the accident happened on Friday, March 28, at about 4.30pm.

The youngster, a year six pupil at St Stephen’s Primary School, has been in an induced coma since he was airlifted to Manchester Royal Infirmary with multiple injuries.

The accident happened near the junction with Buckingham Drive when Oliver was walking home from school after attending a booster class for his year six SAT exams.

Police are still looking for witnesses to the accident, which involved a large Iveco horse box containing three horses.

Oliver has undergone three major operations and had his right leg amputated at the knee. Doctors will not know whether Oliver faces any brain injuries until he regains consciousness. His distraught parents are holding a constant vigil at his hospital bedside.

Denise Appleyard, Oliver’s mother’s best friend and his honorary auntie, has set up a fundraising page on Facebook which has so far had more than 2,700 ‘likes’.

Denise, aged 50, of Walshaw Road, Bury, hopes the money raised will cover petrol expenses for frequent hospital visits and any necessary house adaptations the family may need to care for Oliver.

She said: “For Oliver’s parents it doesn’t feel real, although little bits are starting to sink in. It is difficult to imagine what they are going through and how much they are worrying about his future.

“It is every parent’s worst nightmare – when Oliver went to school that morning no-one thought that by that night he would be minus a leg.

“I was with Oliver’s mum when she got the phone call and we drove to the hospital together. I never want to go through that again.

“The family are living hour by hour. It is horrendous; you just can’t handle something like this.”

Oliver was looking forward to going to Elton High School in September and is brother to Arron, aged 25, Vicky, aged 23 and Jessica, who is aged seven.

His family are optimistic Oliver will eventually come out of the induced coma as several days ago he squeezed a nurse’s hand when he was asked to.

Denise, who owns a shop in Smallbridge, Rochdale, added: “I have known Oliver since he was born. He is so full of life, a wonderful son and brother.

“He loves his Xbox Live, fishing with his dad and riding his bike.

“He is a wonderful little boy – such a pleasant and lovely child.”

Denise is arranging a number of fundraising events over the coming months to raise money and is asking the community for as much support as possible.

The first charity fun night will take place on June 21 at Tottington Conservative Club from 7pm and there are 120 tickets available.

She said: “I really needed to do something to help him and his family through what can only be described as anyone’s worst nightmare.

“When Oliver comes out of hospital there will be a lot of expenses. Raising money will enable his parents not to have any additional worry while they care for Oliver.

Denise is appealing for businesses which can donate raffle prizes, DJs and bands who could entertain on the night and bakeries which could donate a pie supper.

For more information: e-mail Denise on denisedd43@msn.com, search ‘Fundraising for local boy oliver’ on Facebook or go to gofundme.com/84mp2s