CCTV footage the key to crash that killed hairdresser in front of niece (3)
CCTV footage holds the key to identifying the cause of a fatal collision between a car and bus that claimed the life of a 32-year-old hairdresser.
The victim, named as Siobhan McHugh, from Dreminstown, Rathkenny in Co Meath, died after the car in which she was travelling collided with a Bus Eireann coach on the N3 Kells road just outside Navan town.
Gardai will examine videos from the bus and a nearby garage in an effort to find out what happened.
Bus Eireann said the 2008 Scania LD 79-seat double-decker coach had passed its annual roadworthiness test last month, and was fitted with cameras that recorded movements on the road ahead.
Ms McHugh was travelling with her three-year-old niece Shauna when the collision occurred at 6.15pm on Monday.
She was fatally injured and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Shauna, the bus driver and 10 passengers were also taken to hospital, but none have life-threatening injuries.
The force of the collision caused the bus to career into the forecourt of Malone's Toyota dealership on the Kells road, ploughing through a barrier and damaging several cars before coming to a stop.
Five collisions, none fatal, have occurred on the same stretch of road in recent years.
Garage owner John Malone said CCTV footage had been given to gardai, adding the area was not an accident blackspot.
"We're very sorry for the poor lady who lost her life and would like to express our deepest sympathies to her family," he said.
Ms McHugh is survived by her parents Shane and Agnes, brother Willie and sister Grainne, Shauna's mother.
She will be removed from her home at 6pm today to St Louis and St Mary's Church, Rathkenny, followed by funeral Mass at 11.30am tomorrow and burial at St Louis cemetery.
Ms McHugh ran a hair and beauty salon called Alainn in Navan with Grainne for the past five years. There was a black ribbon on the door of the salon yesterday.
Shopkeeper and local county councillor Tommy Reilly (FF) said the sisters were very close.
"She was very close to her sister Grainne. She was a beautiful girl," he said.
Another neighbouring business owner said the whole town was in shock.
"Everyone's shocked, she was a little sweetheart and they (the sisters) were always together. Siobhan thought the world of the little one (Shauna)."
Bus Eireann confirmed that the bus passed its annual roadworthiness test just last month and no problems were reported in the last three monthly checks.
The driver, who has 11 years' service, will be interviewed by gardai and the company as part of the investigation.
"We'll talk to customers who feel up to it and our driver when he's well enough.
"We'll also look at the vehicle when the gardai release it," a spokesman said.
The 109 Bus Eireann service from Cavan to Dublin began its journey at 5pm on Monday and arrived just north of Navan at 6.15pm.
The investigators can ascertain how fast both vehicles were travelling, what their road position was when the collision occurred and the damage caused.
Gardai have appealed for witnesses and anyone with information to contact Navan garda station at 046 9079930, the Garda confidential telephone line 1800 666111, or any garda station.
Ms McHugh's death brings to 142 the number of people who have died on the State's roads so far this year.