Drink-drive suspect kills mother-of-two Claire as she walks home
Her death in the early hours of yesterday is the first road fatality of 2016
This is the mother-of-two who was killed a few metres from her front door by a man who was later arrested for suspected drink-driving.
Claire Hewitt (47) and a friend were walking across Hartstown Road in Clonsilla in the early hours of yesterday when they were hit by a Honda car.
Claire, from Hazelwood Avenue, is believed to have been returning home from a local pub where she had been socialising when the incident happened at around 2.30am.
Her friend is in a serious condition in Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.
Tyre tracks on the grass verge opposite the Church of St Ciaran show the car mounted the kerb and dislodged a tree stump before coming to a halt beside a bus shelter.
Equipment used by the emergency services as they battled to save Claire and treat her friend could be seen 30 yards from where the car had hit a kerb.
Shocked friends and neighbours comforted Claire's husband, David, at their home just around the corner from the scene.
"Her daughter, Jolie, works on a cruise ship as a beautician and she's away at the moment. It's an awful tragedy," said one family friend.
"We can't believe this has happened. Claire was a carer, she was a wonderful person."
Local sources said Claire's friend is also a carer.
The 24-year-old man who was driving the car and has an address in Hartstown was arrested at the scene and questioned at Blanchardstown Garda Station on suspicion of drink-driving.
He was charged and later released and is due to appear at Blanchardstown District Court at the end of the month.
Claire was the first person to be killed on the roads this year.
Last month was one of the worst on record for fatal crashes, with 21 people losing their lives around the country.
Eight people died between December 25 and 31.
Despite this, the overall number of people killed on the roads in 2015 was 165, which was 28 less than in 2014.
At the scene on Hartstown Road yesterday, wreckage including broken glass and plastic could be seen scattered along the grass verge.
The front grille of the car, a black 1.6 litre V-Tec Honda Civic with a 02 registration plate, was left at the tree stump that had been torn from the ground.
Flowers were placed at the scene last night by neighbours.