Woman dies but baby survives car accident
A WOMAN has died after the car she was travelling in with her partner and eight-month-old baby boy plunged into the Grand Canal in Co Offaly.
The woman, named locally as Beena Jacob (30), passed away yesterday after suffering serious injuries in the crash on the road between Cloghan and Shannonbridge in Birr.
Her partner, who was driving the car, and their baby, survived the tragic accident at lunchtime yesterday after the man managed to free himself.
It is understood that the car was going over a bridge when it left the road and slid down an embankment, and partly entered the canal at 1pm.
The car left the road and entered the canal at Clononey.
The man managed to escape and freed his family from the freezing water. The family were rushed to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe but the woman was pronounced dead in the evening.
The driver and baby boy were treated for minor injuries.
Ms Jacob, understood to be a Pakistani national, had been living in Shinrone in Offaly and had been working for just a month in the Clover Lodge nursing home in the village.
A spokesperson at the nursing home said last night staff were "absolutely heartbroken" at the tragic news of her death.
"She was a very friendly person," said councillor Peter Ormond. "It's very sad news, just before Christmas."
The road was closed for a forensic examination but reopened last night. A garda spokesman said they have launched an investigation into the fatal accident.
"A 30-year-old female who was a passenger in a car was seriously injured when the car she was travelling in left the road and entered the canal at Clononey," he said.
Gardai have appealed for witnesses to contact Birr garda station on 057 9169710.