Tuesday 14 August 2018

Gardai investigating 'absolutely horrific' crash which killed four members of one family

The scene of the crash just off the N25 between New Ross and Ballinaboola, Co Wexford. Photo: Steve Humphries
The scene of the crash just off the N25 between New Ross and Ballinaboola, Co Wexford. Photo: Steve Humphries
The scene of the crash just off the N25 between New Ross and Ballinaboola, Co Wexford. Photo: Steve Humphries
A garda near the scene of the crash just off the N25 between New Ross and Ballinaboola, Co Wexford. Photo: Patrick Browne

Conor Feehan and Ralph Riegel

Four members of the same family from the US died in a horrific crash just hours after arriving in the country.

A couple in their 70s and their two sons aged in their 40s, died when their car was in collision with a articulated lorry on the main New Ross to Wexford road at around 6.30pm yesterday.

The scene of the crash just off the N25 between New Ross and Ballinaboola, Co Wexford. Photo: Steve Humphries
The scene of the crash just off the N25 between New Ross and Ballinaboola, Co Wexford. Photo: Steve Humphries

The deceased have been named as Lily Alexander and her husband Doug, along with their sons Doug (jnr) and Stephen.                   

The four are all believed to be from Illinois and had flown into Shannon Airport earlier yesterday for the funeral of a relative in Co Wexford.

The scene of the crash remains sealed off by gardai who have closed a section of the N25 near Cushinstown.

Garda crash investigators could be scene working at the scene of devastation, carrying out measurements and other forensic work.

The articulated truck and car could be seen at the side of the road in their final resting positions following the crash.

The cab of the truck turned sideways in the impact and jack-knifed, and was buried into the side of its own trailer.

The car that the family were traveling in could be seen just in front of the cab of the truck.

Its roof had been removed by emergency crews who arrived to treat the injured.

Initial indications are the crash happened on a bend in the road at the top of a hill.

Further down the road the spire of the Church of St Mary in Cushinstown can be seen.

It was to this church the family were due to travel at noon today to attend the funeral of local woman Winnie Keevey.

It is believed the woman who was killed in the crash was a relative of Winnie's, and that she had travelled from the Illinois area of America with her husband and two grown up sons to attend the funeral.

The funeral of Winnie Keevey was still due to take place today.

Locals described the scene as "absolutely horrific" with debris scattered all over the roadside.

Gardaí, New Ross Fire Brigade and a fleet of ambulances raced to the scene of the crash just off the N25 between Cushinstown and Begern Cross on the New Ross to Ballinaboola road.

Paramedics desperately tried to stabilise the condition of two critically injured people. However, two others were pronounced dead immediately.

They are understood to have been trapped in the car when emergency services arrived.

The other two casualties died before they could be transferred to University Hospital Waterford.

The lorry driver and his passenger avoided serious injury, although the driver was treated at the scene for severe shock.

Driving conditions were described as reasonable at the time, although visibility was somewhat restricted by mist and drizzle.

Local parish priest Fr Sean Devereux said the family who died was due to attend a funeral at the Church of St Mary in Cushinstown this morning.

"We're just very shocked and saddened. The whole community is numbed by this tragedy.

"The people who died were coming to attend a funeral here.

"It's terrible that someone in America now has to hear this news coming through from so far away."

Local Fine Gael Councillor Willie Fitzharris said it appeared both vehicles had been travelling in the same direction when the crash happened.

"Obviously it's terrible and my heart really goes out to the family of the victims. It seemed the two vehicles involved were travelling in the same direction as each other. The whole town is just shocked and horrified.

"I was at a meeting in New Ross this evening and saw five ambulances arrive at the scene," he added.

"It's very difficult to understand how this could have happened but there has been a few minor accidents in the vicinity in recent times. Coming up to Christmas just adds to this tragedy."

Irish Independent

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