Monday 18 February 2019

Garda ombudsman probes child-death road incident

INVESTIGATION: Gardai at scene of the crash in Finglas
INVESTIGATION: Gardai at scene of the crash in Finglas

DON LAVERY

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission yesterday took over the investigation into an incident where seven-year-old Dean Ward of Finglas West was knocked down and killed by an unmarked Garda car in Finglas, Dublin, yesterday.

And another child was killed on the roads yesterday when a three-year-old boy fell to his death from a dumper truck in Crookstown, Co Cork.

The accident happened on a minor road off the N22 at Inchirahilly, Crookstown, shortly before 12.30pm. The child was a passenger on the truck.

The child was taken to Cork University Hospital where he battled for life for a time only to succumb to his injuries.

The youngster's name was withheld last night pending notification of relatives.

Gardai in Macroom are investigating the accident. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident should contact gardai on (026) 20595.

The Ombudsman Commission, which began its operations last May, is now investigating nine cases in which 10 people have died where gardai had some involvement.

Eight of the people who died were involved in road traffic accidents, while the other two deaths included Terence Wheelock, 20, who was found hanging in a garda cell, and a man who died during a house search in Cork.

The seven-year-old pedestrian died after he was hit by the garda car at 11am on the N2 near the Clearwater Shopping Centre in Finglas.

As is normal procedure when a garda is involved in a fatal crash, the Ombudsman Commission took over the investigation.

Among the cases under investigation by the Commission are two young men who died on the Naas Road last Sunday when they were in a collision with an off-duty garda; a road death on the Navan Road last September where one man died; a passenger who died in the car of an off-duty garda in Tuam in August; a motorcyclist in Ballinasloe last July who died trying to evade gardai; a man who died in a crash the same month in Oughterard, Co Galway, involving an off-duty garda; and the death of another man last July who died in Northern Ireland after crossing the border to evade gardai.

In a second incident earlier yesterday morning in Finglas, at 9.20am, a man died when his car collided with a lorry at Ballycoolin Road.

The 26-year-old man was alone in the car and no one else was seriously injured.

He was removed to James Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

The two deaths bring to 68 the number killed on our roads so far this year, 15 more then the same period last year.

The two young men who drove down the Naas Road in Dublin the wrong way, killing themselves after they crashed head-on into a car driven by an off-duty garda, brought to eight the numbers killed on the roads last weekend.

Those killed in the Naas Road collision last Sunday were two 19-year-old men, Owen Merriman, of Palmerstown Woods, Clondalkin, and Lee Mooney, of Woodford Park Road, Clondalkin.

Ironically the garda seriously injured in the crash was also involved in a New Year's Day crash which killed one of the young men's cousins.

Killed in that crash was Philip Hogarty, on his way home after a night out. One of the young men who died in Sunday's crash, Lee Mooney, was related to Philip Hogarty.

Then, on Tuesday, a young woman died in a single-vehicle crash on the Ballinalee to Longford Road at 8.30am.

Aine Goonan, 22, from Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, was on her way to work at the Abbott plant in Co Longford when the accident happened.

On Thursday, a 70-year-old man, Thomas Butler of Killea, Templemore, died when he was was struck by a car while walking at Carrigatoher, Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

Meanwhile, despite road safety campaigns, people are continuing to drink and drive, the latest Garda figures show.

Official road safety statistics, covering the week of February 25 to March 1, reveal that 259 people were arrested for drink driving, compared to 329 the previous week.

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