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'It's been a year of anguish since we lost Dane... and he will leave a gap in our lives forever', says aunt

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Dane Loakman would have been 18 in January

Dane Loakman would have been 18 in January

Dane Loakman would have been 18 in January

The heartbroken family of teenager Dane Loakman, who died crossing a busy road, will gather for a silent march and candlelight vigil tomorrow in his memory.

They will be joined by members of the Sallins community in Co Kildare, who have rallied round the family as the first anniversary of the much-loved teenager's death approaches.

Dane (16), from the Castlefen estate, was struck by a vehicle as he crossed the main Sallins road to catch the bus to school on November 27 last year.

Devastating

He died the following day in Beaumont Hospital and his mother Alison (38) donated his organs, saving the life of three people.

Losing Dane had been "absolutely devastating" for his entire family, who miss him so much every day, according to his aunt, Bernie Johnston.

"As you can imagine, all of next week will be very, very traumatic for Alison and Dane's brother Codey, who is 20," said Ms Johnston.

She said his death had left a gap that could never be filled. He was not there for family milestones and "it will be a gap for the rest of our lives".

Ms Johnston said Dane would have been 18 in January.

"It is just heartbreaking. It doesn't get easier. It gets harder, that is the truth.

"Any family that has lost a loved one will know the pain we are going through because it just hits the bottom of your heart and your soul. It is just horrible.

"We are all still heartbroken. We never got to say goodbye."

Dane's family and friends erected a bench in his honour at the front of his house last April and this week planted a red robin tree. The inscription reads: "Loved and missed always" and is a place to sit quietly and remember Dane.

Ms Johnston told the Herald the family wanted to thank the local community who had been "hugely supportive". Meanwhile, the Sallins community safety group, which includes members of Dane's family and is chaired by Fergus Carpenter, has been lobbying Kildare Co Council for enhanced traffic-calming measures for the busy Sallins Road and is urging more be done.

Warning

Kildare County Council said a number of proposals were progressing, including warning signs on the road from Clane to Sallins to encourage traffic to slow down and a speed-detection sign.

The signs will be in place before the end of the year. It is also proposed to move the bus stop at Hillview.

Gardai who have been investigating the fatality yesterday told the Herald: "A man in his 40s has been charged in relation to this incident and appeared before Naas District Court on November 1."

The meeting point for the silent march tomorrow will be at the Hillview estate, Clane Road, at 4pm.

The procession will pass through the village and turn around at the lights at SuperValu.


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