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Death toll on roads soars to 21 in just a month

ROAD deaths are soaring again following the safest year since records began.

Yesterday, a 38-year-old motorist, who was seriously injured in a road collision on Monday morning, died.

Father-of-three Daithi White died in Sligo General Hospital after the Bulmers van he was driving collided with a Kia car on the N15 main Sligo-Derry road near Ballintra, Co Donegal.

Mr White's death brought the total so far for January to 21, compared to just nine road deaths on the same day last year. This is more than the total for the entire month of January last year (15) and in January 2009, when just 18 people died.

Mr White, of Ballisodare, Co Sligo, was driving towards Donegal when he was in a head-on collision with the Kia. Former football star Anthony Molloy (48), who captained Donegal to their 1992 All-Ireland victory, was a passenger in the Kia. He and the Kia driver were "stable" in the Sligo hospital last night. Mr White's heartbroken Polish-born wife, Justyna, was by his bedside when he died.

Meanwhile, gardai are investigating the circumstances of a freak accident in which a woman died when a parked lorry apparently rolled backwards and crushed her. Deirdre Culloty (38), from Market Street, Bantry, Co Cork, was out walking when the lorry -- which had been parked by its driver some time earlier -- rolled backwards onto her.

Ms Culloty suffered multiple injuries and died before she could be removed to hospital. The driver is not understood to have been in the lorry when the accident occurred. The accident happened at Slip outside Bantry at 4.30pm on Tuesday.

Authorities also released the name of a pedestrian killed in Waterford on Tuesday. She was 71-year-old Nancy Daly.

Road Safety Authority chief executive Noel Brett said that while road deaths had risen this month, it was too soon to discern a trend.

He made a special plea for pedestrians to be extra vigilant and not to walk on busy roads such as dual-carriageways and motorways.

Irish Independent