Friday 19 January 2018

Two teens killed in separate crashes on holiday weekend

The scene in Portumna, Co Galway, where Claire Prendergast died in a two-car collision yesterday
The scene in Portumna, Co Galway, where Claire Prendergast died in a two-car collision yesterday
Claire Prendergast
Kate Fleming, who died in a crash in Co Cork yesterday

Michael Carr and Louise Hogan

A YOUNG law student and a teenager studying for her Leaving Certificate were killed in separate bank holiday car crashes yesterday.

Kate Fleming (18) died after losing control of a Toyota Land Cruiser after driving friends home from a social gathering at her family's home in Barry's Hall, Timoleague, Co Cork.

Conditions were described as extremely foggy when the vehicle collided with the gable end of a house at Keohane's Cross outside Clonakilty just after 4.30am yesterday.

She was pronounced dead at the scene and her body was taken to Cork University Hospital. She was the only person in the vehicle at the time.

Kate had recently begun a degree course in law and psychology at University of Limerick.

Her family, father Peter, mother Kathleen and younger brother Bill (14), were told of the tragic accident yesterday morning.

"They are completely devastated," said friend of the family John O'Sullivan. "Kate meant the world to them; you couldn't ask for a better daughter.

"She was a bright, bubbly and fun-loving girl, witty and intelligent. They were so proud of her starting her law degree. It's every parent's worst nightmare," Mr O'Sullivan added.

In Co Galway, Claire Prendergast (17), from Golden, Co Tipperary, was a front-seat passenger in one of two cars involved in a collision at Thornfield, Portumna, at 11.25 yesterday morning.

They were travelling in a Nissan Micra car when it was in collision with a Mercedes-Benz. She was pronounced dead at the scene.


Claire was travelling to Galway with two friends. They were taken to University College Hospital Galway. One of the teenagers was last night transferred to the Mater Hospital in Dublin. Her condition was described as serious.

The four occupants of the second car -- three generations of one family -- were taken to Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

The four -- a 71-year old grandfather, his 38-year-old son and that man's two children aged five and one -- are from the Loughrea area of Co Galway.

In June, Claire, who was due to turn 18 shortly, had taken part in the Queen of the Suir Festival.

"You wouldn't meet a nicer family. She was a lovely young lady enjoying her life," a local man said.

She is mourned by her father Dick Prendergast and mother Chris, who are farmers, and a brother.

Claire was a Leaving Cert student in Cashel Community School. Deputy Tom Hayes said the accident had caused widespread shock. "The place is stunned. All of the families would be well known and very well respected," he said.

Irish Independent

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