Wednesday 22 November 2017

Male motorcyclist (29) killed in collision just minutes from remembrance ceremony for late bikers

Patsy McArdle

The organisers of a remembrance ceremony to honour late motor bikers were shocked today by the tragic death of a 29-year-old biker who was killed just outside the Co. Monaghan border town of Clones.

The collision occurred within a half-hour of the ceremony being held at a church in the town to honour all dead riders.

Dwane Miller, 29, of Drumkelly, Annyalla, Castleblayney, died on Friday night, after his machine collided with a car at Lismeagh, on the main Monaghan/Clones  Road, near the tiny village of Smithboro.

The driver of the car, and a female passenger, escaped injury the crash.

Other bikers attending the 12th annual “Gone But Not Forgotten” service for the motor-cycle riders, came upon the horror crash scene, as they were returning from the  memorial event,  held at the Sacred Heart Church  in Clones,  where prayers were offered for the daily safety of motor-bike riders on their machines.

Motor cyclists who lost their lives in road tragedies were named in a ‘Roll of Honour’  at the service,  including the famed Ulster rider,  Joey Dunlop. 

In the wake of Friday night’s Co. Monaghan tragedy, shocked relatives and friends of the dead biker  from  the close-knit Co. Monaghan rural community gathered  yesterday (Sat)  at the victim’s home  in a small housing estate near the main Dublin/Derry N2 route, a few miles from Castleblayney, to offer their sympathy and comfort his grief-stricken  30-years-old wife Rosie,  and  two children.

Other members of wider family circle were comforting the  children, son  Nathan, and daughter, Courtney.

Northern biker John Ashton, from Lurgan,  said: “It was ironic this tragedy should happen in less than an hour after we all prayed for safety on our journeys”.

“It brings home the need to be always vigilant when you’re  on the road---but we must accept that  even vigilance can’t prevent an accident, at times”.

Gardai closed the border route for a time  to enable a forensic examination of the  crash scene to be carried out.

The dead biker’s body was taken to Cavan General Hospital for a post mortem.

Gardai at Monaghan have appealed for any witnesses to the tragic crash to come forward.

The crash happened just one month after Garda issued a warning for motorcyclists as 70 per cent rise in rider fatalities was recorded.

Gardai and the RSA say they are extremely concerned that the high casualty rate among motorcyclists could be repeated this summer.

There were almost as many motorcyclists as pedestrians killed in 2013. Pedestrian fatalities have typically been significantly higher than motorcyclist fatalities to date.

A provisional analysis of motorcycle deaths last year by the RSA and gardai shows that there were four main factors behind these deaths:

1. A motorcyclist overtaking a vehicle turning right, resulting in the motorcyclist colliding with the side of the turning vehicle

2. A motorcyclist, while overtaking, colliding head on with an oncoming vehicle

3. A motorcyclist losing control while cornering and crossing into the path of an oncoming vehicle or colliding with a pole, or wall on the other side of the road

4. A driver failing to see a motorcyclist when turning, driving through a junction or joining a main road from a minor road and colliding with the motorcyclist.

A collision with a car ahead turning right was a particular problem resulting in nine fatalities alone last year.

The vast majority of motorcycle fatalities last year took place in the Dublin and greater Dublin area (counties Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow).

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