herald

Sunday 16 December 2018

Boy (1) dies and cousin (6) is critical

CRASH: Girl fights for her life as gardai probe head-on collision

A ONE-YEAR-OLD baby boy has died and a six-year-old girl is fighting for her life after a head-on collision in Limerick.

Thomas Anthony O'Brien died in the two-vehicle crash between Charleville and O'Rourke's Cross on the N20 in south Co Limerick.

The six-year-old girl, named locally as Joelene Ryan, from Rathkeale, Co Limerick, and believed to be a cousin of Thomas, is battling for her life with serious head injuries.

The tragedy occurred yesterdayat 4.15pm on a straight stretch of road at Rockhill when a Renault Clio, in which the children were travelling, collided into an oncoming white Berlingo van.

Emergency services rushed to the scene, but the boy was declared dead at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick.

His mother, Nicola O'Brien (19), who was driving the car, and the six-year-old girl were also in hospital last night. It has been confirmed that the girl is in a critical condition in the hospital intensive care unit.

Ms O'Brien is understood to be in a stable condition.

A male passenger in the van was also hospitalised while the van driver and another passenger escaped unharmed.

It is understood the van, which was carrying three men at the time and was travelling in the Limerick direction,was towing a trailer containing calves. The three men are believed to be from Patrickswell in Co Limerick.



witnesses

Ms O'Brien, her son and the girl were travelling in the Charleville direction, where it is believed they are living.

The busy Limerick-Cork road remained closed off yesterday evening for several hours as investigations continued.

Gardai are still trying to determine how the collision occurred and Supt Tom Lundon of Bruff Garda station, who is leading the investigation, has appealed for witnesses.

"It appears it was a straight head-on collision and unfortunately a young child at the scene died," he explained.

"We would appeal for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact the gardai at Bruff," he added.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bruff Garda Station 061-382940, the Garda Confidential Line 1-800-666-111 or any Garda Station.

Meanwhile, gardai in Dundalk are investigating a single- vehicle collision in which a 31-year-old man died in the early hours of this morning.

The accident occurred at Philipstown, Hackballscross, Co Louth, when the car he was driving left the road and collided with a ditch at around 2.45am. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The scene was today closed pending the completion of a technical examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators.

hnews@herald.ie

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