herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Toddler heartache

THE family of a 22-month-old boy knocked down and killed in the driveway of their home say they bear no resentment towards the driver.

Joshua Coyle was struck by a van at his home in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

Hundreds of people gathered at the town's hospital morgue yesterday as his remains were returned to his home in Crieve Glebe for a wake. Funeral mass for the boy will be held tomorrow.

His heartbroken grandfather Alan Coyle said the family friend driving the van was devastated by the death.

He said Joshua and his brothers were excited by his arrival at their home.

"They would have been excited as he often brought them sweets. He's a close member of the family for as long as I can remember," said Alan.

"It was a complete accident and we hold no ill will against this man. He is suffering his own pain too.

"He is part of the grieving process and we hope very much that he will attend little Joshua's funeral," he said.

The dead boy's older brother, four-year-old Alexander, was just a few feet away when the accident happened.

"He saw it all and we are trying to help him now. I don't want to think about what could have happened if he was any closer," he added.

"Joshua was starting to become a little boy and he was starting to leave his baby years behind him. He was full of life and was beginning to play with his older brother Alexander's toys including his little battery car.

"It's just so sad. The whole family is just devastated but we are a very close family. Joshua's mum and dad Suzanna and Alex are his three brothers Alexander, Rohan and Sean are trying their best to cope.

"But we are here for them and they know they are not alone," he added.

Garda forensic experts spent the weekend examining the scene of Friday's incident.

Meanwhile forensic and DNA tests are being carried out to identify a driver who died in Co Mayo in the early hours of Saturday.

Gardai say the car he was driving burst into flames after crashing into a tree near Fahy National School on the R311 between Newport and Castlebar around 1.30am.

The car was completely destroyed making its indentification through normal checks possible.

Gardai were unable to say whether the person in the car was male of female, but said DNA tests would be needed to identify the driver.

The remains were taken to Mayo General Hospital for a post mortem.

Gardai at Westport (098-25555) are appealing for witnesses.

Meanwhile, a man died after he was hit by a truck in Limerick.

The 27-year-old man was walking along the hard shoulder of the road and was struck by a truck on the Ennis Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the truck was not injured.

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