Teacher killed in car crash on way home from party
A WOMAN was killed yesterday in a crash as she drove home from a friend's 25th wedding anniversary celebrations.
Marie O'Donnell (51) was killed and her husband John (50) was left in critical condition following the crash in north Donegal on the road linking Milford and Kilmacrennan.
It took gardai more than 15 hours yesterday to locate the couple's youngest son, Jonathan, who is backpacking in the US, to inform him of the tragedy. Arrangements were being made to fly him home last night.
The two-car crash, in which both occupants of the other vehicle were also injured, happened exactly a month to the day after the devastating collision in nearby Inishowen that claimed eight lives.
A teacher, Mrs O'Donnell died at the wheel of her silver Micra shortly after 2.15am just outside Milford. Her businessman husband John, a passenger in the car, was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital.
The couple, who have two sons aged 23 and 21, were on their way home from the 25th wedding anniversary of friends Henry and Kathleen Callaghan when they were in collision with a blue Honda Civic driven by a man in his early 20s.
Mrs Callaghan wept yesterday as she recalled how a memorable anniversary night at the Lagoon restaurant in Termon turned to misery.
She said: "We had such a high night with our family and close friends and then to hear how it ended with what happened to Marie and John is unbelievable.
Marie's husband John was understood to be critical but stable in hospital last night.
Joe McHugh, TD, said: "This is another major tragedy in these parts. Mrs O'Donnell was a very well-respected member of the community. For her to have died this way was the ultimate tragedy."
The young man driving the other car, a native of Loughanure but staying in Milford, was reported to be in a critical but stable condition. His female passenger, who lived in Milford, was stable.
Gardai asked witnesses to contact Milford Garda Station on 074 9153060 or on the Garda confidential telephone line 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.