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Thursday 2 October 2014

Drowned checkpoint driver was a taximan

Caroline Crawford and Tom Brady

Published 07/02/2014 | 02:30

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Gardai evidence was given in the case
Gardai evidence was given in the case

A TAXI driver who drowned after jumping into the river Corrib had been stopped by gardai for a routine traffic check.

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David Johnson (43), who was originally from Scotland, had been living in a Galway city hostel since before Christmas. He was working as a taxi driver in the city.

He jumped into the swollen river Corrib in Galway city on Wednesday night after he was stopped as part of a routine garda check for tax and insurance.

It is understood the driver had no insurance on his car, a black Vauxhall, at the time.

On being stopped, Mr Johnson left his vehicle and walked to nearby Bridge St, where he jumped into the water at 6.20pm on Wednesday.

DEDICATED

Gardai immediately contacted emergency services and after a major search-and-rescue operation his remains were taken from the river by the coast guard helicopter at 7.30pm. He was taken to Galway University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7.50pm.

His family in Scotland are being informed of his death.

Friends spoke of their shock at his sudden death, explaining how he had been dedicated to getting his taxi business up and running.

"He was a nice guy, he was just trying to get his stuff together in terms of the taxi," said one man who knew him.

The incident was referred to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission on Wednesday evening. Anyone with information is asked to contact 1890-600800.

Irish Independent

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