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Victim of fatal Wexford road crash named as driver is released from garda custody


The late Ronan Fitzpatrick.

The late Ronan Fitzpatrick.

The late Ronan Fitzpatrick.


HAVING been arrested at the scene, the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal road traffic collision late on Sunday night has been released from garda custody with a file to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The horror crash on the R733 Newline Road, just outside Wexford town, claimed the life of the passenger Ronan Fitzpatrick (31) of Saltmills at around 10.40 p.m. on Sunday night. 

The large Ford pickup collided with a tree and is reported to have flipped several times, resulting in the passenger being thrown from the vehicle. He was sadly pronounced dead at the scene and his body was taken to University Hospital Waterford for a full post-mortem examination.

CPR was administered by a passing first responder who happened upon what was described as “the most horrific scene”. The National Ambulance Service, the Fire Service and Gardaí were quick to react and the road was immediately closed off to traffic. A full garda forensic examination was carried out before the road re-opened late on Monday morning.

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The drive, a 39 year-old man from the same area of the county as the deceased, received treatment for a nasty gash to his head and other relatively minor injuries, and was arrested by gardaí after becoming quite abusive at the scene.

A garda source confirmed the arrest and the man remained in garda custody on Monday morning, receiving further treatment at Wexford General Hospital.

The man was subsequently released without charge, but a file is due to be sent to the DPP arising from the incident.

“A full forensic examination of the scene was carried out and a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in due course when the investigation concludes,” the garda source said.

Meanwhile, Ronan’s passing has rocked his close-knit, rural Wexford community. The news came as a devastating blow to his parents Eugene and Nell and his brother William, as well as his uncles Michael and Frankie.

His funeral mass will take place on Friday, August 19, at The Church of The Holy Spirit, St Leonards at 12 noon followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Gardaí made an appeal for any person who may have witnessed this tragic collision to contact them at Wexford Garda Station. They’d be particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have camera or dash cam footage.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Wexford Garda Station on 053 916 5200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.

This is the latest in string of fatal collisions on the Newline Road, the most recent of which claimed the life of a young woman in her 20s in March of last year. It's estimated that that stretch of the R733 has claimed upwards of ten lives in the past decade.