herald

Monday 17 December 2018

Young man who died in garda pursuit crash was in city for funeral

The scene of the fatal crash at Fairview Park, which left one person dead and two in hospital
The scene of the fatal crash at Fairview Park, which left one person dead and two in hospital

A young member of the Travelling community has been killed after the vehicle he was driving was involved in a pursuit with gardai.

Due to the seriousness of the injuries, officers had originally thought the man killed in the incident was his father, a 47-year-old with an address in Belfast, of the same name.

However, it was later determined to be the younger man who had been in the van and passed away.

A 48-year-old woman, who was a front-seat passenger in the vehicle, was in a critical condition in hospital last night, while a 13-year-old boy who was in the back seat escaped without serious injury.

Swerving

It is understood the Northern Irish family were in Dublin for the funeral of an elderly female member of the Traveller community.

The man died when the vehicle he was driving crashed into fencing at Fairview Park in the early hours of yesterday morning. He also hit a tree in the incident, which involved no other vehicles.

Just minutes before, a patrol car from Clontarf noticed the van "swerving all over" the Malahide Road close to Clontarf Beach.

Gardai pulled over the vehicle. The driver spoke briefly to the two officers.

Sources said there was a strong smell of alcohol from the van. Before officers could speak to him in depth, or attempt to breathalyse him, the man drove off at speed.

Gardai began to pursue the van, which crashed a couple of minutes later.

"It was a very short pursuit. The officers were actually keeping their distance because he was driving so badly and dangerously," a source said.

The woman in the vehicle, believed to be his mother, was taken to the Mater Hospital, where she is now fighting for her life.

The 13-year-old, believed to be his brother, was taken to Temple Street Hospital. His injuries were not serious.

It is understood gardai have attempted to take a statement from the boy but so far have been unsuccessful.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is investigating the fatality, in line with protocol.

A spokesperson for the watchdog said the van involved had come to the attention of gardai prior to the crash.

The junction of Clontarf Road, Marino Mart and the Malahide Road in Fairview was closed for a technical examination early yesterday morning but has since reopened.

The heavily-damaged silver van was removed from the scene, along with a marked garda car.

Members of the local council were also seen removing debris from the tree and poured grit on to the oil-stained road.

Gardai have appealed for any witnesses to contact Clontarf Garda Station on 01-6664800, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

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