Wednesday 20 February 2019

Boy (6) left fighting for life after mother killed in horror road crash

Emma O'Keeffe was travelling with her sons, aged 6 and 2
Emma O'Keeffe was travelling with her sons, aged 6 and 2

A six-year-old boy was last night fighting for his life after his mum was killed in a horror crash on a rural Co Meath road.

Young mother Emma O'Keeffe (26) was tragically killed in a collision with a truck, while her two children were on board on Thursday afternoon.

It is understood that four garda units and four fire units and a helicopter attended the scene shortly after 1pm.

The incident took place on the Nobber to Kingscourt Road, a short distance from the family home in the small townland of Wilkinstown.

Mrs O'Keeffe was rushed to the intensive care unit at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda after being removed from the car.


However, she was pronounced dead less than 24 hours later, yesterday morning.

The focus for the family, including husband Robin, has now turned to her six-year-old son, who is still in a serious condition at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, Dublin.

The couple got married just over two-and-a-half years ago.

Their other son (2) was also taken to hospital in Drogheda, though his condition is understood to be less serious.

He was later transferred to Temple Street Hospital in Dublin.

Speaking to the Herald yesterday, James Minnock, principal at Scoil Naomh Barra, Wilkinstown, said the whole school was hoping the elder son - who is a pupil in first class at the schoool - can pull through.

Mr Minnock said that they are praying for the whole family.

"This is a terrible tragedy for the family, our school, and our community," Mr Minnock said."We are deeply saddened by these events.

"Our sympathy, prayers and thoughts are with the family at this time," he added.

The principal also said teachers and staff in the school are focusing on the pupils who are trying to come to terms with the tragedy.

"The school has implemented its critical incident plan," Mr Minnock said.

"Psychologists from the National Education Psychological Service (NEPS) have been supporting and advising the school in our efforts to assist our students at this time."

Wilkinstown man Patsy O'Neill, who worked as a local councillor for almost three decades, knows the family.

He said the pain around the community following the tragedy was still "raw". "When you know somebody it does click more," Mr O'Neill said.

"Certainly the area is stunned. Everyone has been talking about it, even as far as Navan. Accidents will happen but you just don't expect it to be so serious," he added.

A local woman said the accident was "a terrible tragedy." The entire community was shocked, she said.

Local Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Gallagher offered his condolences to the family.

"It's very tragic. The family only moved into a house in Nobber about a year ago. People in the area are shocked and saddened," he said.

"We're going through a very bad spell on Irish roads at the moment and it's a terrible thing to happen. My thoughts are with the family at this difficult time."


A garda spokesman confirmed that the driver of the truck escaped from the collision without physical injuries.

"The collision occurred at approximately 1pm at Leggagh, Castletown, Navan," he said.

"The three occupants of the car were brought to Drogheda and Crumlin Hospitals - one male juvenile and the female driver in Drogheda, one male juvenile in Crumlin.

"There was no one else in the car. The driver of the truck was unharmed," he added.

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