Saturday 15 December 2018

Irish athletics star (33) dies in car crash in South Carolina

Jamie McCarthy pictured competing for Riverstick AC, Kinsale in 2002
Jamie McCarthy pictured competing for Riverstick AC, Kinsale in 2002

Cathal Dennehy

Tributes poured in last night after the death of Jamie McCarthy, a 33-year-old distance runner from Cork who was killed in a car crash near his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Wednesday night.

McCarthy was part of the Irish junior team that won silver medals at the European Cross Country Championships in 2004, and the talented runner had been based in the US since after accepting a scholarship to Coastal Carolina University, where he continued to work as a volunteer coach.

At the time of the crash, he had been driving near his home with his girlfriend, Cristina Martinescu, who last night was on life support at a nearby hospital. McCarthy was pronounced dead on Wednesday night at Grand Strand Medical Centre in Myrtle Beach after suffering mass trauma, officials said.

Neighbour Currin Carter told MyrtleBeachOnline.com: "I still have the box of candy he and his girlfriend gave me for Christmas," Carter said. "A few days ago, I saw him going out to work. He addressed me smiling. He’s always smiling."

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