Wednesday 17 January 2018

Garda badly injured in fatal crash wakes up from induced coma

The crash in Ardrahan Co. Galway where a man in his sixties was killed and 2 gardai were injured

Caroline Crawford and Adam Cullen

One of the two gardai injured in a crash that claimed the life of a pensioner has woken up from an induced coma.

Gda Sharon Casserly’s condition had deteriorated during the week following Monday’s accident in Co Galway, but she has made progress in the past 48 hours.

Sharon Casserly
Sharon Casserly

She and Gda Peter Murtagh suffered serious injuries in the crash, which caused the  death of 66-year-old Liam McDonnell.

Gda Casserly sustained a number of serious injuries and was placed in an induced coma.

A mass was held for her earlier this week at Gort Garda Station.


Sources have confirmed that she woke up on Wednesday and spoke to hospital staff and she is said to be making a steady recovery.

Gda Murtagh, who suffered head and arm injuries, is also recovering well. Both officers are in University Hospital Galway.

Gda Casserly is due to get married later this year, and the improvement in her condition has lifted the spirits of her colleagues.

Meanwhile, Mr McDonnell was laid to rest in Galway yesterday.

The resident of the Little Flower Nursing Home in Ardrahan died at the scene after he was hit by a car at 12.30am on Monday on the N18 near the town.

He had gone missing from the nursing home on Sunday night. Officers Murtagh and Casserly were looking for him at the time.

Mr McDonnell was married with two children. His wife Kate and daughters Mary and Joanna are being comforted by friends and family.

A garda investigation into the crash is continuing, and officers renewed their appeal for any witnesses to the incident.

The health watchdog, HIQA, is also reviewing the incident. An investigation by the Garda Siochana

Ombudsman Commission was completed yesterday after it was found there was no garda misconduct.

The incident happened after gardai were alerted that Mr McDonnell had left the nursing home, and began a search for him.

He had only recently transferred to the facility.

The two officers came across the pensioner on the N18, 2km from Labane village.

Within moments of leaving their patrol car to speak with him, he was hit by a car coming towards them.

The car also struck the stationary patrol vehicle.

The driver of the car, a man in his 40s, was arrested at the scene and taken to Gort Garda Station for questioning.

He has since been released.

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