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Teen dies in 'borrowed' car

A 16-YEAR-OLD who "borrowed" a family friend's car was one of 11 people who died on the country's roads in the past four days.

Ten people died in the final three days of last month, ending hopes that this June would record the lowest death toll in the month since 1980.

A male cyclist in his 50s died yesterday - the first death in what statistics show to be the most dangerous month on Irish roads.

The latest casualties bring to 166 the number of people who have died on the country's roads this year, although road deaths have dropped by almost 25pc in the last 10 months.

However, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) warned yesterday that July is the most dangerous month on the roads, with an average of 40 lives lost in each July of the past seven years.

"It has been a very, very safe June - if you can call it such a thing," said Brian Farrell of the RSA.

"Following on from a May in which we recorded the lowest-ever figure for road deaths in May for over 30 years, it means that the trend remains downward."

Gardai are investigating after a cyclist in his 50s was fatally injured in Enfield, Co Meath, when his bicycle collided with a parked car shortly after noon yesterday. The man has not been named.

In Cavan, a 16-year-old boy was killed at 11pm on Saturday when the car he was driving lost control and crashed into a ditch at Bough, Cootehill, on the Shercock/Cootehill road. The youth was one of a family of six and lived nearby.


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"It is being treated solely as a traffic accident," a garda source said. "But it seems that the lad borrowed the keys of the car of a family friend and took it for a spin. Unfortunately, it didn't have a happy ending."

Earlier on Saturday, a 30-year-old man died when his motorcycle collided with a car towing a horsebox at Togher, near Portlaoise in Laois, at 3pm. He was named as Damien Pelletier of Rossvale in Portlaoise.

Gardai also released the name of the 38-year-old Lithuanian who died in Drogheda at 12.50am on Saturday when his car struck a telegraph pole. He was Ernestas Rimkus, from Riverbank in Drogheda.

Twenty minutes earlier, and also in Co Louth, Padraig McCluskey (36) of Littlemills, Dundalk, was killed at Hackballscross in Dundalk when the car he was driving collided with another. The driver and one or more occupants of a Nissan Sunny car involved in the crash left the scene, and gardai have urged them to come forward.

At around the same time, a 37-year-old man was killed in Dublin when the car he was driving collided with another vehicle on the Belgard Road in Clondalkin.

Pensioner Matthew Skinnader, in his 80s, died in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda at 9pm on Friday night after being struck by a truck as he was walking on the main street in Emyvale, Monaghan.

Earlier on Friday, Andrew Dowling (29) of Keeper Road in Crumlin, Dublin, died after the car in which he was a passenger crashed at Kinnegad in Westmeath.

On Thursday, Bernadette Brien (57), from Killimor, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, died after a crash near her home. Also on Thursday, Patrick O'Doherty (35) from Killbarack, Dublin, and Rory O'Connor (19) from Dundrum died in separate road accidents.

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