Tuesday 20 August 2019

Two Irishmen injured in US car crash that killed couple

Killed: John Heneghan (33), from Co Mayo, and Caitlyn Holtzman (32) on their wedding day
Killed: John Heneghan (33), from Co Mayo, and Caitlyn Holtzman (32) on their wedding day
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Two Dublin men have been seriously injured in a car crash that killed an Irishman and his wife in New York State.

An alleged drunk driver (58) has been arrested following the tragedy in the town of Clifton Park on Saturday afternoon.

Co Mayo native John-John Heneghan (33) and his American wife Caitlin Holtzman (32) died after their car was struck by another vehicle while they were stopped at a traffic light.

The three other people injured were named as Dublin men Luke O'Doherty (25) and Enda Crowley (31), along with Virginia native Julia Staples (24). Their injuries have been described as serious but not life-threatening.

Mr O'Doherty is from Carpenterstown in Dublin west and a keen hurler, who had previously played for St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh GAA in Ashtown.

Mr Crowley is from Templeogue and has been living in the US for a number of years. He is the vice-president of a major construction company in a branch based in New York and in 2018 was named as one of New York's top young professionals.

The man arrested in connection with the incident has been named by the New York State Police as Dickie R Winn (58) of Cohoes, New York.

The defendant has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular manslaughter as well as driving while intoxicated.

According to 'The Daily Gazette', Judge James Hughes denied him bail.

The judge's order came after Mr Winn's public defence lawyer Oscar Schreiber said his client has a family and was an army veteran.

"He joined the army in 1984 at 20 years old. He's been deployed seven times. The Gulf War, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guatamala and El Salvador," he told the court.

"[Mr Winn] has a Bronze Star for valour. He came here directly from Fort Drum to Cohoes. He's been in service to our country for years and years and years, he's put his life on the line. I don't think he's going anywhere. He realises how serious this is."

Mr Winn is due back in court on Wednesday.

Mr Heneghan was originally from Tourmakeady in Co Mayo, but had been living and working in the New York area.

A family member told the Irish Independent: "We are heartbroken by the loss of John and Caitlin. Our thoughts are with their friends in hospital, we are thinking of their families at this time."

The family have announced that there will be cremation of John and Caitlin's remains and a memorial service in the USA, followed by a funeral mass/memorial service in Tourmakeady and interment of ashes. The arrangements will be announced later.

Irish Independent

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