herald

Sunday 25 September 2016

Tragic crash death of my beautiful sister left us shocked and devastated

Jillian Thornton, who died in a car crash on the N2
Jillian Thornton, who died in a car crash on the N2
Jillian Thornton and family

The family of Jillian Thornton, killed when the car she was travelling in crashed during a garda pursuit, has called for a full investigation into the incident.

Ms Thornton's sister Elaine told the Herald the family wants to see the people responsible for what happened to be held to account.

She paid tribute to her sister, a childcare worker and skilled darts player who would have turned 21 on July 14.

"She was the most bubbly, happy person you could meet. Everyone loved her, she was a great sister, a great aunty and a great friend," she said. "We are all in absolute shock. She would have been 21 in July, but now she is never going to see her 21st."

Jillian was fatally injured when the Mitsubishi Colt she was in crashed into a Volkswagen Passat just after 10.30pm on Friday. The crash took place on the N2 at Waterside Great, Duleek, in Co Meath.

It is understood that the collision was nearly head-on and that the young woman, who was in the back seat, was thrown from the car.

"We want to see the person or persons held accountable for what they have done," Ms Thornton said.

"She [Jillian] had just finished her childcare course. She absolutely loved children. She loved playing darts and she was a great darts player."

She said that her sister played with the Louth darts team. Ms Thornton also appealed for privacy to allow the family to mourn.

Gardai have released without charge a man arrested in connection with the crash and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Officers have confirmed that at the time of the crash they were following the Colt because they wanted to speak to the driver.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) confirmed it is also carrying out an investigation.

"The fatal road traffic incident which occurred in the N2 was referred to GSOC because the car which crashed was under pursuit by gardai prior to the incident occurring," GSOC said in a statement.

"GSOC investigators attended the scene. There are parallel investigations under way. GSOC's investigation will focus primarily on matters relating to the conduct of the garda pursuit."

Beautiful

Over the weekend her friends posted tributes to Jillian.

"I love you beautiful. RIP. So hard to believe I was only talking [to you] the other day. I'll miss you loads," one friend commented.

Another girl said: "My beautiful best friend. May God give you the best bed in heaven you truly deserve it I love you so much."

Jillian's funeral takes place on Thursday at 11am at St Mary's Church, James' Street, Drogheda.

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