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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Killer dies after falling from moving car

Kathryn Hayes and Barry Duggan

Published 27/04/2014 | 02:30

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Tony O'Brien, 31, from Limerick city had been socialising in Kerry
Gardai are appealing for witnesses
Gardai are appealing for witnesses

A convicted killer was killed after he fell out of a moving car while getting sick and was struck by another vehicle.

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Tony O'Brien, 31, from Limerick city, had been socialising in Kerry and was returning to Limerick when the incident occurred.

The Sunday Independent has learnt that O'Brien was getting sick out the side of the moving blue Toyota Avensis when he fell out a rear door on the N69 near Kildimo, Co Limerick at 1am yesterday.

He was struck almost instantly by an oncoming BMW travelling in the opposite direction.

The driver of the BMW remained at the scene, but the driver of the Avensis kept going.

He returned briefly to the scene, shouting at the other motorist that he had killed his friend before taking off again in the direction of Limerick city.

The Avensis – which was not stolen – was burnt out later in the Kennedy Park area of Limerick city.

In 2007, O'Brien of Baker Place in Limerick, who had more than 40 previous convictions, was found guilty by a jury of the 2006 manslaughter of Keith Ryan, who was beaten to death near the Shannon Bridge. He was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment after pleading not guilty. However a retrial was ordered and O'Brien subsequently received a seven-year sentence, with time already served in prison taken in to account.

A co-defendant, Thomas Ryan, 25, of Shanabooly Rd, Ballynanty, Limerick, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, was given seven years in Limerick Circuit Court.

The victim, Keith Ryan, suffered extensive injuries to his head – his nose was fractured and his face and forehead were stamped upon.

The court heard evidence that he died after inhaling his own blood. He was intoxicated at the time of his death.

After the assault, the two defendants went over Shannon Bridge and into the city, where their movements were monitored by CCTV.

Gardai in Limerick are today continuing to investigate O'Brien's road traffic death. They believe there was at least one other person besides O'Brien and the driver of the Avensis in the car.

The driver of the BMW attempted to take evasive action, but it was too late. The 67-year-old local man was not injured, but is said to be traumatised by the incident. Gardai are also speaking to other motorists who came across the scene.

O'Brien's body remained at the scene yesterday morning until Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis arrived. A full post-mortem was due to be carried out last night at University Hospital Limerick.

Anyone with information who may have seen a 99 WH reg light blue car, possibly a Toyota Avensis, are asked to contact Newcastle West Garda Station on (069) 20650.

Sunday Independent

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