Thursday 18 January 2018

Boy (3) who was playing football dies after being hit by bin truck

Anita Guidera

A FAMILY and a community were plunged into mourning yesterday after a toddler who was struck by a refuse lorry outside his home died.

And in another crash on our roads yesterday a barman died in a horror smash in Co Meath.

Patrick McDonagh (3) had been playing with his twin sister, Megan, outside the family home in the Ballymacool estate on the outskirts of Letterkenny, Co Donegal, at around 11.30am when the accident occurred.

Unconfirmed reports said the little boy may have run out on after a football into the path of the reversing lorry.

A public health nurse alerted the emergency services who rushed to the scene. She attempted to resuscitate the child who had suffered head injuries.

The boy's frantic mother also attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but he was pronounced dead on arrival at Letterkenny General Hospital a short time later.

The deeply traumatised lorry driver was also treated at the scene. Relatives and friends comforted grieving parents Shirley and Patrick, who are members of the Travelling community as they made funeral arrangements for their only son.

The family had moved to Letterkenny from England about a year ago and had been living at Ballymacool since before Christmas. Shocked neighbours in the large estate were alerted to the tragedy by the screams of the distressed mother.

A close neighbour said: "They only moved in around three weeks before Christmas but I knew them to see. The wee boy and girl were always playing together. I just heard the screams and I ran out but it was all over. Everyone was around him. You could see his head got the worst of the impact."


Another mother, who lives nearby, saw the bin lorry reversing up the road and heard the screams moments later.

"I saw a lady carrying him and putting him down on the road. She was crying and screaming and giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

"He was bleeding from the head. A nurse came to help. Everyone was running," she said.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said the lorry called weekly to the estate to collect rubbish. "The driver reverses through this section of the estate. Another man walks behind. He goes very slowly because children are always out playing," she said.

Meanwhile, the popular barman killed in Co Meath was named as Colm McGuinness (38), from Ashbourne, Co Meath.

Mr McGuinness died in the early hours of yesterday morning after his car was involved in a single vehicle crash on the Milltown Road in Ashbourne shortly after midnight on Monday. He was the sole occupant of the car.

Emergency services arrived on the scene shortly after the accident but he died a short time later at Beaumont Hospital.

Mr McGuinness was well known in Ashbourne and had worked for several years at the family-owned Hunter's Moon pub on the Main Street. .

And the funeral of James Scully (22), who died in a crash near his family's home near Ballytore, Co Kildare, early on Sunday morning is due to take place tomorrow.

Mr Scully died at the scene of the single vehicle accident on the M9 while his sister Charlotte (30) and brother Paul (21) were seriously injured.

Irish Independent

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