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Sunday 21 September 2014

Teenage boy with Aspergers Syndrome hit and killed by car as his father tried to move him to safety

Published 14/03/2014 | 12:12

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Tragic Callum Dale (13) had suffered an episode associated with the illness and had run out onto the road near his home in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

A teenage boy with Aspergers Syndrome was hit and killed by a car as his father attempted to get him to move off the road, it emerged today.

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Tragic Callum Dale, who was 13, had suffered an episode associated with the illness and had run out onto the road near his home in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

It’s understood he was sitting on the left-hand lane of the road at Ballymacarry in the Cockhill area of the town when he and his dad Peter (51) were hit by an on oncoming car.

The boy’s mum Deirdre is said to be “deeply traumatised” after witnessing the crash.

Her husband Peter is in a critical condition in Letterkenny General Hospital where he is being treated in the intensive care unit for multiple injuries.

The family live at Riverdale Park in the town.

“Callum had gone onto the road and sat down and Peter was trying to get him to move,” said one family friend today.

“It was after 10.30pm last night so it was dark and the road is fairly busy all the time because it’s the main road to Carndonagh.

“Poor Callum died and Peter was very badly hurt.”

The woman driving the black Opel Minerva car involved in the incident was said to be in “complete shock” after the tragedy.

Her sister died in a road traffic accident on the same road 20 years ago.

“Deirdre and Peter had gone out of the house after Callum and Deirdre witnessed it all, God help her,” said one neighbour

“It’s just unspeakable. They doted on Callum. He suffered from Aspergers and he would have episodes where he would go out of the house.”

Buncrana Town councillor Ciaran McLaughlin told The Herald: “The whole town is numb with grief.

“Inishowen has had more than its fair share of such tragedies and the circumstances of this particular incident are just heart-breaking.

“Everyone is praying for the family, and in particular the father that he pulls through and recovers from his injuries.”

Supt Eugene McGovern told The Herald the incident was a “very tragic” accident.

“We are investigating all the circumstances of the incident,” he said.

“The incident happened between 10.30pm and 10.45pm and unfortunately the boy was pronounced dead at the scene at around 11.20pm.

“His father was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital where he is being treated for very serious injuries.”

He appealed for anyone who may have witnessed anything before or after the crash to contact Gardai in Buncrana on 074 9320540.

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