Saturday 18 November 2017

Police ‘seconds’ from stopping driver who killed Oisin (2)

Sixteen-month-old Oisin Twomey who died in a car accident in Devon, England
Elber and Con Twomey on their wedding day. Both are in a critical condition in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth

Mark Hilliard and Ralph Riegel

POLICE were just moments from intercepting the suicidal driver of a car that smashed into the vehicle carrying the tragic Twomey family.

The crash claimed the lives of little Oisin (16 months) and his mother's unborn baby.

His parents Con (39) and mother Elber (36) from Meelin, Co Cork, were last night fighting for their lives in an English hospital.

An operation to save the couple's unborn child was tragically unsuccessful.

The couple and Oisin were in the UK on holiday after deciding that it would be safer to take their car on a ferry rather than fly.

Harrowing new details have emerged about exactly what happened on Friday:

- Police were alerted about the wellbeing of a Polish man following the discovery of a suicide note.

- Officers in the Torquay area of Devon were asked to watch out for his car.

- Moments before the crash, his vehicle was detected travelling in the opposite direction.

- Police began to turn to follow, but -- seconds later -- witnessed the awful tragedy.

UK police insisted the squad car was not involved in a pursuit at the time of the collision.

Last night, Mr Twomey's mother spoke of her heartbreak and described her grandson Oisin as an adorable little boy.

Speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday, she said: "We need all the prayers that we can get."

The crash took place at 2.47pm on Friday when the unidentified Polish man drove his Vauxhall Vectra across the centre of the carriageway and into the path of the Twomey's oncoming Volkswagen Golf.

Mr Twomey was flown by air ambulance to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth where he underwent surgery for what police described as a "considerable time".

Mrs Twomey was initially treated at Torbay Hospital and later transferred to Derriford. Both were in a critical condition last night.

The Polish man was also transferred to hospital, but later died.

Devon and Cornwall's Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton said: "It was a head-on collision at speed.

"The Vectra was coming down the hill and appears to have swerved into the path of the oncoming car."

Police had been contacted by someone known to the Polish man who was concerned for his wellbeing. It is understood this report was made following the discovery of a suicide note. However, police declined to comment.

But a spokesman confirmed that officers had been given details of the man's car and he had been spotted just moments before the impact, too late to do anything to prevent it.

"We have a witness that says he passed the car a mile down the road (before it had been spotted by police) and he was travelling at speed," he said.

Around 25 emergency services vehicles attended the scene and last night sources indicated that many of those involved are devastated by the loss of life.

The road was closed for more than 10 hours following the crash while the vehicles were recovered and forensic examinations took place.

Irish Independent

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