Sunday 22 July 2018

Teen remains in critical condition and two others injured after suspected hit-and-run

The scene at Coolmine train station in Dublin.
Pic: Justin Farrelly.
The scene at Coolmine train station in Dublin. Pic: Justin Farrelly.

Ian Begley

A 19-YEAR-OLD remains in a critical condition in hospital this morning after a suspected hit-and-run motorist ploughed into three pedestrians in west Dublin.

Gardai are investigating the incident, which happened near Coolmine Railway Station, Blanchardstown, during rush hour at about 9.30am yesterday.

Two male pedestrians, aged 54 and 19, were seriously injured when struck by the car.

The teen is understood to be in a critical condition in Connolly Hospital.

A female pedestrian also sustained injuries in the incident.

The driver of the car failed to stay at the scene and subsequently fled.

The shocking incident happened just yards from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s home.

QUESTIONED

The scene on the Coolmine Road near Coolmine Train Station this morning Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The scene on the Coolmine Road near Coolmine Train Station this morning Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

During a follow-up operation, a man in his 30s was arrested a short time later in connection to the incident.

His car, a Seat with a 171-D registration, was recovered nearby at The Bell pub in Blanchardstown Village.

He is being detained at Blanchardstown Garda Station for questioning.

The road leading up to the railway crossing was closed for a technical examination and local diversions were put in place.

Garda forensic collision investigators were requested to examine the scene.

Rail services at Coolmine Station were not affected.

Residents living in the adjacent area were prohibited from driving out of their cul-de-sac for a period of time as gardai assessed the scene.

Articles of clothing could be seen on the footpath within the sealed-off area – understood to have been left behind by medical personnel.

A grey Nissan was parked close to where the incident took place, but sources say it had no involvement in the collision.

Residents and rail commuters expressed their shock in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

“I was woken up by the sirens from all the garda cars and ambulances,” said an elderly man from nearby Kirkpatrick Drive.

“When I came out and saw all the commotion around the railway crossing I thought that someone must have taken their life. Then I witnessed someone being taken away in an ambulance.

“I couldn’t see how badly the man was injured but I was later told that it was very serious.”

SHOCKED

A mother with her two-year-old daughter said she considered herself lucky that they were not in the area at the time.

“We walk past this level crossing most mornings at around 9.30am, but today I got held up at home,” she said.

“After hearing what happened I’m just so shocked.

“We could have easily been caught up in it. God knows what led someone to do this – maybe it was just some terrible accident.”

Coolmine resident Kevin Donoghue said the extent of the incident was an awful thing to wake up to.

“I’ve never seen the likes of it before,” he said. “I’m living here more than 20 years and this is the first hit-and-run I’ve heard of around here.

“This part of Blanchardstown is relatively quiet and we wouldn’t see too much trouble.

“I’ve heard the car mounted the footpath and hit a number of pedestrians, but I can’t say for sure.”

Councillors in the Dublin 15 constituency expressed their sympathies to the three people injured.

“It’s just awful, I just can’t believe something like this has happened,” said Solidarity councillor Sandra Kavanagh.

“My heart really goes out to the families of those injured and I pray they make a full recovery.

“It’s always a big shock when something like this happens so close to home.”

Green Party councillor Roderic O’Gorman told Independent.ie that the area around Coolmine Train Station is always bustling with commuters on their way to work or college.

“This shocking and very upsetting incident occurred in an area that’s hugely used by pedestrians getting the train, especially in the morning,” he said.

“It’s too early to speculate why this happened, but my thoughts and prayers are with the three individuals who were injured.”

Solidarity councillor Matthew Waine said the level crossing at Coolmine is dangerous.

“It’s something the council need to look at and improve the safety of pedestrians,” he said.

“Obviously, what happened is very shocking, especially since it seems to be a hit-and-run. I hope the three people that were hit aren’t too badly hurt and will make a full recovery,” he said.

Gardai are now appealing for witnesses.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Blanchardstown Garda Station (01-6667000) or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Herald

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