Tragedy of newlywed Emma Dooley (30) killed on her way to work in AIB
A RECENTLY married woman who died yesterday morning after her car collided with an oncoming vehicle had planned to start a family with her husband soon.
Bank worker Emma Dooley (30) from Ballyvora Grove, Ferbane, Co Offaly, yesterday lost her battle for life at Tullamore Hospital after the collision on the Athlone to Birr road in atrocious weather conditions last Thursday morning.
Ms Dooley, a native of Portroe, Co Tipperary, married her husband Greg 17 months ago but they had been a couple for 10 years.
Greg's cousin, Padraig Boland, told the Irish Independent yesterday that he believed torrential rain and gale-force winds contributed to the accident.
"She was travelling to Birr at 9am where she worked with AIB. We had 24 hours of torrential rain and the road conditions were very bad at the time. It happened on a notorious bend outside Derrinlough -- and it wouldn't be by any means the first accident at that spot.
"We think her car spun around on the road," he said.
Up to 50mm of rain fell in parts of Leinster last Thursday, and 20-30mm fell on Friday.
Mr Boland said Ms Dooley was an outdoors enthusiast who liked to keep fit by taking long walks after work.
He added: "Her husband works with ESB international and is based in Dublin. What they had hoped was that he would get back closer to home and then they'd start a family. That was the idea."
The occupant of the other car, a woman in her 50s from Cork, escaped unharmed.
Gardai are continuing their investigations into the precise cause of the accident.
Emma is survived by Greg; her parents, Anthony and Breda Shouldice; brothers, Colman and Cormac -- and sisters Genevieve, Ruth, Linda, Denise and Antonia.
Meanwhile, a young man has died following a single-car crash at Sean Kelly Bridge in Sally Gap, Co Wicklow.
It happened at around 5.30pm on Sunday evening.
The victim was named locally as Patrick Paddy Connors, who was in his early 30s and originally from London.
Before the car left the road it was spotted by a garda jeep which turned to pursue the vehicle. However, by the time gardai caught up with the vehicle further down the road, the car had already overturned.
As there was a garda car in the area at the time of the accident, the incident was automatically referred to the Ombudsman Commission.
A passenger in the car remains in a critical condition at Beaumont Hospital. A second man, who was also in the car, is being treated for non-life threatening injuries at Tallaght Hospital.
Elsewhere, a young championship-winning rally co-driver remains in a serious condition in hospital after her rally car crashed into a ditch during an event in Laois on Sunday.
Grainne McEnery from Ennis, Co Clare, was seriously injured after the Ford Escort car, driven by Mike Quinn from Kerry, crashed during the Heartlands Rally mini-stages in Portlaoise.
It is understood Mr Quinn escaped serious injury but Ms McEnery had to be cut from the wreckage.
"We are investigating this incident as we would any accident where an injury has occurred," said a spokesman for Motorsport Ireland.