'We hoped he'd make some sort of recovery' - Irishman dies four months after being struck by Canadian police vehicle
An Irishman has died more than four months after he was struck by a police vehicle in Canada.
Brendan Keogh (29) passed away on Wednesday morning at Dublin's Mater Hospital.
Mr Keogh, who is originally from the village of Mullinalaghta in Co Longford, was walking along the busy intersection of Highway 99 and Garibaldi Way in Squamish town in Vancouver, British Columbia at around 10.30pm local time on March 13 when he was struck by an on-duty officer with the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Services, who was driving an unmarked SUV.
He was cared for in Vancouver General Hospital, before being transferred to the Mater Hospital earlier this summer, sadly he never regained consciousness.
Local Fianna Fail Councillor PJ Reilly is a close friend of Mr Keogh's family and said everyone is devastated by the news.
He told Independent.ie: "It's an awful tragedy, his parents Marian and Kevin and his two sisters flew to be by his beside in Canada and were then able to bring him home to Ireland to the Mater, he was also cared for in Cavan General Hospital for some time before before he was brought back to the Mater.
"There was a great hope and belief that he would make some sort of recovery but unfortunately it wasn't to be and he didn't survive."
Cllr Reilly said that the community has been devastated by the news.
"It's a very sad tragedy for his parents and sisters and also for the local area.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends and I would like to extend my deepest condolences to them."
Mr Keogh's funeral is due to be held in Mullinalaghta on Sunday afternoon.
Canadian police watchdog The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) has confirmed that an investigation has been launched.
The IIO said in a statement: "The Independent Investigation Office of B.C. has deployed investigators to a motor vehicle incident in Squamish involving a pedestrian.
"Initial information provided to the IIO by the RCMP suggests that at approximately 10:30 pm on Tuesday March 13, 2018, an unmarked police vehicle was involved in a collision with the pedestrian at the intersection of Highway 99 and Garibaldi Way in Squamish.
"Emergency Health Services attended the scene and the male pedestrian was transported to hospital with serious injuries."
They said in an updated statement that they are hoping to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the crash.
"The IIO has identified a potential key witness (driver and or occupants) of a small white hatchback vehicle turning right from Garibaldi Way (as seen in the photos) to merge with the southbound lane of Highway 99 at the same time as the unmarked police vehicle struck the pedestrian.
"The IIO is asking for the driver of this vehicle and any potential occupants or other witnesses who may have seen, heard, or recorded the incident to contact the IIO Witness Line at 1-855-446-8477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
"The IIO is an independent civilian oversight agency of the police in British Columbia. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death. It does not require any allegation of wrongdoing," the IIO spokesperson said.