Friday 24 November 2017

Tears for 'adorable' grandson Oisin killed in holiday crash

Sixteen-month-old Oisin Twomey who died in a car accident in Devon, England
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

Ralph Riegel and Majella O'Sullivan

A GRANDMOTHER last night told of her heartbreak over the horrific crash that killed little Oisin Twomey and left her son and daughter-in-law fighting for their lives.

Con Twomey's mother, Julia, told the Irish Independent that all they can do is pray.

"We need all the prayers we can get. We are hoping and praying they will pull through," she said. "Everyone has been so good -- the support has been incredible. But our hearts are still broken."

Mrs Twomey broke down as she spoke of her grandson Oisin, who she said was "adorable".

She said the support the family had received was keeping them going.

"We would like to say thanks for the wonderful care Con and Elber have received from the emergency services in the UK. Our neighbours and extended family here at home have also been so, so good," she added.

UK surgeons performed an emergency operation in a bid to save Elber's unborn child, but the baby failed to survive.

Mrs Twomey -- who was being comforted by her sisters, Eileen and Phil, her daughter, Maureen and brother-in-law Peter -- said the entire family were overwhelmed by the support of their tight-knit Meelin community in north Cork.

Devoted

She said Elber and Con were devoted to each other and had been eagerly awaiting the birth of their second child, who had been due in October.

"It is just terrible -- absolutely awful," she said.

The tragedy occurred at 2.45pm on Friday at Hamelin Way outside Torquay in Devon when a Vauxhall Vectra veered directly into the path of the Volkswagen Golf carrying the Twomeys and their son, Oisin.

A 25-year old Polish man arrested at the scene later died in hospital. A Devon police officer witnessed the crash -- and detectives are now investigating whether the Polish driver's lethal swerve may have been deliberate. He was not being chased by police at the time.

Devon and Cornwall Police assistant chief constable Paul Netherton described the crash scene as "extremely traumatic".

"The weather conditions at the time were challenging, with heavy rain falling, creating an extremely difficult working environment for the emergency services and was very traumatic for all involved," he added.

Both Con and Elber remained in a critical condition in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth last night. Elber's parents, Timmy and Rita, as well as Con's two sisters, Michelle and Colette, his brother-in-law, Aengus, his uncle, Andy, and his family are maintaining a bedside vigil.

Also comforting the family in Devon are Elber's brother and sister, Tom and Norma, and Con's cousin, Mary Cussen.

Con and Elber are both from the same parish in Kanturk, one family from Rockchapel and the other from Meelin.

Elber is a teacher at Kanturk's Mercy primary school and Con -- who was a talented hurler with Meelin GAA for more than a decade -- worked in the construction industry.

The priest who married the couple, Fr Dave Herlihy, said they stood out for their devotion to their community and family.

"They are a young couple full of the joys of life. They were living their lives to the fullest and were devoted to their child and their families," he said.

"They lived here (Newmarket) for a year-and-a-half after they got married while they were waiting for their house to be built. I was honoured to be asked to concelebrate their wedding for them. It is just a terrible, terrible accident."

Last night family friend Cllr Tim Collins (Ind) said the entire community was numbed. "No one can believe it -- it is heartbreaking. For this to happen on their holidays is just beyond words," he said.

Fianna Fail TD Michael Moynihan said: "They are two highly respected families and everyone is praying for (Con and Elber's) their recovery."

Meelin GAA official Bridie Murphy, in paying a moving tribute, added: "They planned the holiday around the child thinking it would be easier to bring the car than go on a sun holiday.

"It is so upsetting. They both have extensive families and they will need support."

Irish Independent

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