Girl killed in car crash just a week before 15th birthday
A TEENAGER killed in a car crash had been looking forward to celebrating her 15th birthday with family and friends next week.
Caitlin Taylor (14), from Sli na gCrann, Gouldshill, Mallow, Co Cork, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, 5km from Scartaglen in Co Kerry.
The popular teenager was a front-seat passenger in the Toyota Yaris that was travelling towards Tralee when it went out of control and hit a ditch.
She was pronounced dead at the scene and her remains were taken to Kerry General Hospital (KGH) for a post-mortem examination.
The driver of the car, Sarah O'Connell (20) and her 18-month-old baby daughter, Sophie, were taken to KGH but their injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
Caitlin regularly babysat the little girl and was travelling to Tralee with the mother and daughter who were visiting a friend. She had been looking forward to celebrating her birthday next week and had just started her school holidays two weeks ago.
Sarah yesterday took to Facebook to write: "Caitlin I'm so sorry baby girl I am never in my life going to forget this RIP hunny xxxxx".
She added: "I am so sorry for what happened to Caitlin she is a lovely girl. I tried my best to get her to breathe".
The accident occurred on a dangerous stretch of road at around 11.25pm on Sunday.
No other vehicles were involved.
Caitlin was a second-year student at St Mary's Secondary School in Mallow where staff heard of the tragedy as the school opened up for the Junior and Leaving Cert exams.
She was the oldest of three children and had two younger brothers Jack and Billy. Her parents Denise and Darren and grandmothers Celestine and Kathleen were being comforted by family members last night.
The principal of St Mary's, Yvonne Bane, said: "This is a terrible tragedy for Caitlin's family, her friends, our school and the local community. We are deeply saddened by these events.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Caitlin's family and friends at this time."
Caitlin's funeral arrangements were being finalised last night.
Her removal will take place tomorrow night from O'Connell's Funeral Home to the Church of the Resurrection in Mallow.
She will be laid to rest in St Gobnait's Cemetery on Thursday, following Requiem Mass at 12pm.
The road where the crash occurred near Scartaglen has since been re-opened following a garda forensic collision examination.
Gardai in Castleisland are appealing for witnesses to contact Castleisland garda station at 066-7163090, the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111 or any garda station.
Caitlin was the eighth person to lose their life on Kerry's roads so far this year.
The seven other fatalities were also the result of single-vehicle accidents.