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Teen crash tragedy: funeral details announced of boy (13) killed in collision

Gardaí had asked vehicle to stop before fatal accident

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Devastation: The car involved in the fatal crash. PHOTO: Gerry Mooney

Devastation: The car involved in the fatal crash. PHOTO: Gerry Mooney

Councillor Paddy Hill. PHOTO: Gerry Mooney

Councillor Paddy Hill. PHOTO: Gerry Mooney

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Devastation: The car involved in the fatal crash. PHOTO: Gerry Mooney

The funeral for the 13-year-old boy killed in a car crash in Co Westmeath in the early hours of Wednesday morning is due to take place in his native Delvin on Saturday.



Gardaí are investigating if the car involved in a crash that claimed the life of a 13-year-old boy had been taken from a teenager's parent without permission.

Schoolboy Joseph Anderson was a passenger with four other teenage boys in the Hyundai car that left the road and crashed into a tree on a backroad between Delvin and Athboy.

One other boy remains in a critical condition in Mullingar Regional Hospital, while the three other passengers escaped without serious injury.

One line of investigation is that one of the boys took one of their parent's cars without permission and went driving in it.

A garda vehicle had indicated the car driver to stop on a road at Delvin at around 2.15am on Wednesday morning but the car drove away.

The patrol then followed the direction of the car and came across the crash scene around 1km further on.

The gardaí, who were on anti-burglary and theft patrols targeting travelling criminals, did not go in pursuit but drove in the same direction.

There was no suggestion that the teenagers were engaged in any criminal activity.

Gardai and the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission are investigating the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

The funeral notice of Jospeh said he is predeceased by his grandfathers William Anderson and Patrick O'Reilly and his uncle John.

Joseph is the son of William and Fiona and a brother to William jnr.

"Joseph will be sadly missed by his heartbroken parents and brother, his grandmothers Rosaleen Anderson and Mary O'Reilly, aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family and his many friends," the notice says.

In compliance with current guidelines, Joseph's funeral Mass will be for immediate family only.

Distressed

The unlit back road where the crash occurred is an area with no houses nearby, and is one of the many back roads between Athboy and Delvin.

Joseph Anderson was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was removed to the mortuary at Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar.

The second teenage boy who was injured was also taken to hospital where he was in a critical condition last night.

The three other male occupants of the car, all aged in their teens, suffered non-life-threatening injuries but were said to be shaken and distressed.

Because the car had an interaction with gardaí, the matter was referred to An Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc), which is carrying out an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal crash.

A statement from Gsoc said the circumstances of the referral was on the basis gardaí had indicated for the vehicle to pull over, however, it failed to stop and drove away.

Joseph Anderson was a pupil at Clonmellon Primary School until it was closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and had been due to begin his secondary education at Athboy Community College in September.

All the boys in the car, aged between 13 and 16, were friends from the Delvin-Athboy area on the Westmeath-Meath border.

At the crash scene yesterday, some debris from the car could be seen deep in the drain, and there was a large gash on the bark of a tree at the roadside which indicated where the car had struck it.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Paddy Hill said the neighbourhood around Delvin was "shocked" following the crash.

"They are a very well known family in the area, and the young person that was injured is from the area as well," he said.

"All we can do is offer our deepest sympathy to all of those involved and particularly the family of the boy who passed away, and we hope the other young man will make a recovery.

"The community around Delvin is very strong and caring, and I'm sure that they will rally around [the family] as best they can over the next few very difficult days."

Gardaí are appealing to anyone with information, particularly any road users who may have dash-cam footage of the area between 1.45am-2.30am, to contact them at Mullingar Garda Station on 044 938 4000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Irish Independent