herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Diana to be laid to rest after M7 gang carnage

Northbound Road Accident on M7 outside Kildare Town, Kildare.
Northbound Road Accident on M7 outside Kildare Town, Kildare.
Diana Harton from Co Kildare who was killed after a high speed chase .

The heartbroken family of Diana Harton from Tallaght who died when a speeding car ploughed into her vehicle will bury her tomorrow.

The 43-year-old innocent child minder died in an incident which occurred on the M7 motorway last Thursday when a gang involved in a high-speed chase smashed into her.

The crash followed a drunken nationwide crime spree by the gang, and there were several near misses with motorists before the fatal collision.

Ms Harton will repose today at her father William's residence in the Killinarden estate.

The removal will be tomorrow at 10.30am to the Church of The Sacred Heart in Killinarden, for 11am Mass and funeral, and afterwards to Bohernabreena cemetery.

As well as her father, Ms Harton is also survived by her four siblings and extended family and friends.

She has been described by one friend as having a "heart of gold".

Investigations

Meanwhile, two separate investigations are ongoing following the fatal collision.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission is investigating the incident, while gardai are investigating a number of robberies which took place earlier.

Of the five males in the uninsured 1996 Volkswagen Polo, the youngest was aged just 12.

He was accompanied by three teenagers - two 17-year-olds and an 18-year-old - and a 23-year-old man who was driving.

All are members of the Travelling community from the north Dublin/Meath region, with three of the group on bail following a spate of robberies and burglaries.

The gang bought the Volkswagen for €100 in Trim, Co Meath on Wednesday before embarking on a crime spree which took them across six counties in 24 hours.

Ms Harton, originally from Tallaght, but living in Kildare, had been shopping moments before she drove onto the northbound carriageway from the Kildare town slip road.

The 23-year-old uninsured driver of the speeding Volkswagen attempted to evade gardai but smashed into the back of Ms Harton's Citroen Xsara.

Her car careered into a patrol car and the single woman died at the scene.

The horrific carnage unfolded at 8.45 last Thursday night.

Fire crews worked to cut the trapped gang from the wreckage, and all were subsequently hospitalised, along with two gardai who have since been released.

Several beer bottles, along with stolen power tools, were recovered in the wreckage of the Volkswagen.

fdillon@herald.ie

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