herald

Thursday 23 January 2020

Dad-of-two dies after car hits ditch as road death toll for year up to 144

The scene near Lifford, Co Donegal, where Shaun Kelly was injured and later died
The scene near Lifford, Co Donegal, where Shaun Kelly was injured and later died

Three serious road traffic accidents have happened over the festive period.

A man in his 30s, named locally as Shaun Kelly, died after a single vehicle accident in Co Donegal yesterday.

Mr Kelly died after his Vauxhall Cavalier car crashed into a ditch and then rolled into a field at Glenfad, Porthall, Lifford, on the R265. The accident happened just before 12.30am yesterday morning.

Mr Kelly, a father-of-two from Lifford, initially survived the crash and was rushed to Letterkenny University Hospital in a critical condition.

Terrible

However, the victim, who had worked on oil rigs overseas, died a short time later.

Gardai have launched a full investigation into the cause of the crash.

A person who lived close to the crash scene said: "Myself and my wife went to bed and it was only this morning that we realised what had happened.

"It's a terrible thing to happen to some poor family, especially coming as it does at Christmas time."

A local garda spokesman appealed for people to take extra care on the roads during the holiday period.

"We are appealing to people to continue to be careful over the holiday period, a time of year when accidents are often prevalent," he said.

Shaun Kelly
Shaun Kelly

"Christmas should be a happy time for families and we certainly don't want any more sadness because of any more tragedies on our roads."

Mr Kelly was the sixth person to die on Co Donegal roads so far this year.

Separately, in Co Galway, eight people were taken to hospital following a two-car collision on the Clifden Road, 3km from Leenane Village at 5.15pm yesterday. Gardai said one male received serious injuries while the remainder suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Also in Galway, a 52-year-old woman remains in a critical condition after being struck by a car while out walking on Christmas Eve.

The incident happened at approximately 8.45pm on a local road at Carrowmanagh, Oughterard.

Meanwhile, gardai and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have renewed their 'Be Safe, Be Seen' campaign, with some two million people taking journeys over the next week.

According to statistics, six in 10 fatal pedestrian collisions occur during the hours of darkness.

The number of deaths on Irish roads has risen this year. There have now been 144 road deaths, six more than for the same period last year.

Shocking

Last year was the safest year on Irish roads with the lowest number of road deaths since records began in 1959.

By comparison, 478 people died on Irish roads in 1990 and a shocking 640 people died in road accidents in 1972.

Of the 144 people to have died on Irish roads so far this year, 76 were drivers, 26 were pedestrians, 17 were passengers, 17 were motorcyclists and eight were pedal cyclists.

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