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Thursday 13 December 2018

Early-morning crash at school leaves young man dead and two boys badly injured

Car was being followed by gardaí when it ploughed into wall

Danny Barnes, who died in the early-morning crash in Wexford
Danny Barnes, who died in the early-morning crash in Wexford

Robin Schiller, Ken Foy and Ralph Riegel

TWO boys were left with horrific injuries and a man was killed when the car he was driving smashed through a barrier and hit a wall as it was being followed by a Garda patrol car.

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) is reviewing the circumstances of the horrific accident in Wexford town, which happened shortly before 1am yesterday.

The boys, named locally as brothers Craig (13) and Kevin Banville (15) from Taghmon, were being treated at Wexford General Hospital last night for serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The silver VW Bora ploughed into a wall and railings on White Mill Road, Wexford, only a minute after gardaí started following the vehicle, believing the occupants were acting in a suspicious manner. The man who was killed has been named as Danny Barnes (24), who was known to gardaí for minor drugs offences.

Barnes, who is understood to be a father of two, worked in the construction industry in the south-east.

He was described by locals as a devoted family man who had a major interest in sports.

The wreckage of the car in which Danny Barnes died is covered by a tarpaulin. Photo: Mary Browne
The wreckage of the car in which Danny Barnes died is covered by a tarpaulin. Photo: Mary Browne

Barnes lived in Wexford town with his partner.


Local Sinn Féin councillor Tom Forde paid tribute to the young victim and expressed his sympathies to the Barnes family.

"I didn't know Danny personally, but I knew the family - his father and brother.

"My thoughts are with his family at this time.

"He was a very popular young lad in the area, and came from a very well-respected family.

"His father works with the local boxing club and they are very much involved with the local community.

"It's a terrible tragedy," Mr Forde said.

A local woman who lives near the scene of the fatal collision said a loud bang woke her husband up late at night, and described seeing a large number of emergency personnel attending the scene.

"The bang woke (my husband) up, he thought it was thunder," she said.

"The lights from the emergency vehicles then woke me up; I looked out and saw the flashing lights.

"I thought, 'Oh, God'. There were at least two ambulances on the scene, two fire engines and a number of ancillary cars around as well.

"The car went through the barrier, it was stuck in the wall. It's awful."

Gardaí closed the stretch of road involved to allow for an examination by accident scene investigators. The vehicle involved had apparently come to the attention of gardaí a short time before the accident.

In accordance with protocol, the matter has been referred by Wexford gardaí to Gsoc.

It is believed the driver lost control of his vehicle on the Whitemill Road and it ploughed into a wall and heavy railings near a school.

The force of the collision resulted in the entire front section of the car being crushed.

Wexford gardaí have appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the crash or the movement of the car involved in the hours before the accident to contact them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Wexford garda station on (053) 9165200, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on (1800) 666111 or any Garda station.

Irish Independent

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