Friday 22 November 2019

Mother saw son killed and husband injured in accident

The scene near Cockhill bridge, Buncrana
The scene near Cockhill bridge, Buncrana

Greg Harkin

A mother watched in horror as her teenage son was killed and her husband critically injured in a tragic road traffic accident.

Loving dad Peter Dale was trying to get his 13-year-old son Callum to move off a road in Co Donegal when they were both struck by an oncoming car.

Tragic Callum was pronounced dead at the scene while his father was being treated for multiple injuries at the intensive care unit of Letterkenny General Hospital.

Friends say Callum suffered from Asperger Syndrome and had run out of his home in Riverdale Park in Buncrana and on to the road 300 metres away.

His dad was escorting him off the road when the accident happened just after 10.30pm on Thursday.


His mother Deirdre, who had also gone out to help, witnessed the accident.

The woman driving the Opel Minerva that struck the father and son was left deeply traumatised by the incident.

Her sister died in a road crash at the same spot in the Cockhill area 20 years ago.

"Callum had gone on to the road and sat down and Peter was trying to get him to move," said one family friend.

"It was after 10.30pm last night so it was dark and the road is fairly busy all the time because it's the main road to Carndonagh. Poor Callum died and Peter was very badly hurt."

Family and friends were last night by his bedside in hospital.

"Deirdre and Peter had gone out of the house after Callum and Deirdre witnessed it all, God help her," said one neighbour. "It's just unspeakable. They doted on Callum. He suffered from Asperger's and he would have episodes where he would go out of the house."

Buncrana Town councillor Ciaran McLaughlin said: "The whole town is numb with grief.

"Inishowen has had more than its fair share of such tragedies and the circumstances of this particular incident are just heart-breaking.

"Everyone is praying for the family, and in particular the father that he pulls through and recovers from his injuries."

Supt Eugene McGovern said the incident was a "very tragic" accident.

"On behalf of all the gardai in Buncrana I want to offer my deepest condolences to the family of this young boy at this time."

He appealed for anyone who may have witnessed anything before or after the crash to contact gardai in Buncrana on 074 9320540.

Irish Independent

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