Saturday 22 October 2016

GSOC team investigates horror crash that killed mum-of-three

The scene of the crash near Kinnegad where Jacqueline Wolohan died
The scene of the crash near Kinnegad where Jacqueline Wolohan died

An investigation is continuing into a fatal crash that claimed the life of a Dublin mother-of-three.

Jacqueline Wolohan (51), a widow from Coolock, died when her car was involved in a collision with a car driven by an off-duty garda.

Her 14-year-old son was seriously injured in the crash that happened on the M4 motorway near Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, at 1.30am on Saturday. He was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar.

Officers from the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) are conducting the investigation because of the involvement of the garda.

Mrs Wolohan was on her way back from Longford to her home with her son, his friend and an adult female cousin when the crash happened.

All three of her passengers were taken to hospital. The garda also received treatment for injuries.


The Wolohan's pet dog was found dead near the scene some hours after the crash.

Sarah Wolohan, one of the victim's two adult daughters, paid tribute to her mother on Facebook.

"Today I woke up to the horrific news that my mother had died. Heaven has gained one funny, special and beautiful character. Rest in peace ma, your memory will live on forever."

A family friend described Ms Wolohan as "a very nice woman" who had lost her husband several years ago and was a stay-at-home mother raising her three children on her own.

She had lived her entire life in the Coolock area and was well respected.

Local councillor Tom Brabazon said the accident has left the local community in shock.

"For anyone from the area to lose their life in circumstances like that is extremely tragic.

"I hope that the GSOC investigation will get to the bottom of it," he said.

A spokeswoman for GSOC refused to comment on claims that the garda helicopter was deployed to the scene of the accident.

She issued a statement which confirmed that "the incident was referred by the Garda Siochana to GSOC under section 102 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005, which provides for independent investigation of any matter that appears to indicate that the conduct of a member of the Garda Siochana may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person".

GSOC is appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash to contact them on 1890 600 800.

They have also requested that anyone who may have seen a blue Opel Astra, 2005 registration, or a silver Nissan Micra, 2004 registration, travelling on the eastbound side of the M4 at about 1.30am on Saturday to contact them on 1890 600 800.

Ms Wolohan's other daughter Alison said: "We went out to the crash and both cars were still there.

"We were initially looking for my mum's dog Honey as Andrew, my brother, is very close to her. We found her but she was dead too and is now with my mam."

Meanwhile, a man was hospitalised with serious injuries following a road crash in Dublin yesterday.

The incident happened shortly after 9.30am on the N11. The man - in his early 40s - was travelling outbound close to University College, Dublin when the single vehicle collision occurred.

He was taken to St Vincent's Hospital where his injuries have been described as serious.

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