Friday 15 December 2017

Luas crash victim had booked trip home to China with daughter

Conor Feehan and Mark O'Regan

The woman killed in a freak Luas accident yesterday was due to return home to China with her young child on Thursday to visit her family for the first time in a decade.

Yao Webster (35) was a mother-of-one who lived with her husband, Robin, and their two-year-old daughter in Donabate, north Co Dublin.

She had been on her way to work in Usher's Quay post office when the crash claimed her life.

It happened at 8.45am at the junction of Abbey Street and Jervis Street, beside the Jervis Shopping Centre.

A Luas tram travelling on the Red Line towards Tallaght, was in collision with a silver BMW car heading from the quays towards Parnell Street.

After colliding with the Luas, the car hit Mrs Webster, who was on the footpath.

Tragic Yao Webster, husband Robin and daughter Chloe
Tragic Yao Webster, husband Robin and daughter Chloe
The scene of the crash on Upper Abbey Street in Dublin when a car collided with a Luas tram

She suffered catastrophic injuries in the impact and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In December 2012, she and Robin were interviewed for the Irish Independent as they embarked on buying a house and looking to the future with their baby daughter. Dong Wang, a family friend, paid tribute to her, describing her as "devoted mother who lived for her daughter".

"She had booked tickets two months ago, for her and her child, and it was going to be a six-week holiday back home in China. It would have been the first time her parents had seen their granddaughter.

"She's an only child so this will be particularly difficult for them to accept. She was on her way to work in the post office when it happened.

"She would have done anything for anyone. For example, the family dog was diagnosed with cancer recently, and she paid hundreds to pay for surgery to save its life."

Postmaster of Usher's Quay post office Tony Wall said: "The gardai came in yesterday morning and told me what had happened. I was just in shock.

"Yao was a very hard worker, she had been here for around seven years, and she was very popular with the customers," he added.

Two units of Dublin Fire Brigade as well as two ambulances attended the scene.

The driver of the car, said to be a foreign national, was not believed to have been hurt in the crash. After an inspection by a coroner, Mrs Webster's body was removed by ambulance from the city morgue for a post- mortem.

Speaking in December 2012 about their house hunt, her husband Robin said: "We're just starting a family so that was a major part of why we bought now. My daughter is just one month old.


"We've been looking on and off since 2005 but we were getting constantly outbid. So we parked it but when our family circumstances changed, we started to look at it again.

"We are both good savers so we had a good nestegg and so we didn't need to borrow too much. We were very area specific about where we wanted to live and we really wanted something in Donabate."

CCTV will form a central part of the garda investigation into the incident, which is also being investigated by Luas operators.

The Luas line was closed for a time yesterday, between the Smithfield and Connolly stops.

Irish Independent

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