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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Family's grief: 'We couldn't save my dad... no one could'

Published 11/11/2015 | 02:30

Maggie Bonner and her boyfriend Michael Jackson from Mayo with a photo of Maggie’s father Frankie Bonner. Photo: Gareth Chaney
Maggie Bonner and her boyfriend Michael Jackson from Mayo with a photo of Maggie’s father Frankie Bonner. Photo: Gareth Chaney

Frankie Bonner was killed in a road traffic accident 17 months ago, but in a tragic twist of fate it was his daughter's boyfriend who was behind the wheel of the van involved.

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Mr Bonner died in Co Mayo, close to Killala, in the early hours of the morning on June 10 last year. His daughter Maggie's boyfriend, Michael Jackson, was dropping a friend home when he "drove over something on the road".

"When I got into Killala, I noticed that the front of my van was damaged, so I picked up my friend and I returned to the scene and I noticed there was a body," Mr Jackson said.

It was in the next few hours that he and Maggie discovered who the victim of the accident was. Mr Jackson said their "lives were shattered" by the accident.

"You wouldn't dream it. A horror film wouldn't be as scary," he said.

The couple have been together for eight years and are now stronger than ever.

"It is difficult. But things like this, it really does help you through it," Maggie said as she took part in a road safety campaign in Dublin yesterday.

The couple are campaigning for pedestrians to wear high-visibility clothing when using the road late at night as part of the UN's World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

"I couldn't save my dad that night, neither could Michael, no one could. He had no high-visibility jacket on him," said Maggie.

"He couldn't be saved, he was in dark clothes. The message is that everyone needs to start wearing high-visibility jackets or something reflective. Everyone needs to play a part in this."

Irish Independent

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