AN eight-year-old boy was in a critical condition in hospital today after an accident with a bus on a busy road.

Alexander Tolley, was hit by the Stagecoach single decker on Manchester Road, in Accrington, just after 5pm yesterday.

Police said his mum Pat witnessed the accident. Mrs Tolley and husband Graham kept a vigil at their son's bedside last night and were too upset to speak about the accident today.

Police said Alexander was with his mother when he stepped out between a car and a van to cross the road as he left Oakhill Park when the accident happened. A pal ran to nearby Accrington Police Station to alert emergency services.

PC Matthew Leigh, of Accrington Road Policing Unit, was first on the scene and found the Alexander unconscious.

He said: "The child was in the carriageway, unconscious, and had suffered serious head and abdominal injuries. A passer-by had administered first-aid which helped him along."

Alexander was taken to Blackburn Royal Infirmary then transferred to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury.

The accident happened just yards from the Park pub where the youngster's dad is a regular.

Today landlady Sue Downie said staff and regulars were shocked.

She said: "His dad was not in here at the time. The whole pub is upset and concerned about him and we are thinking of him and his family."

Alexander, who attends Peel Park Primary School, has two sisters and a brother.

Police closed the road off for almost two hours as officers investigated the scene. The bus, which was carrying three passengers, will be checked. Driver, Stephen Peters, 39, of Billington Gardens, Billington, was said to have been severely shocked by the incident. Police said he will be interviewed about the accident.

Chris Bowles, operations director for Stagecoach North West, said: "It is a very unfortunate accident and we are not too sure how it happened yet, but we are looking into it.

"The driver was shocked, but apart from that he is OK."

PC Leigh appealed for any witnesses to the accident to come forward. If anybody has any information can contact him at Accrington on 01254 353764.