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Ballina reeling from weekend tragedies

Ballina reeling from weekend tragedies

Edwin McGreal

Two communities in north Mayo are today trying to come to terms with the tragic deaths of three people over the weekend.
The region awoke on Saturday morning to the sad news that a mother and her 13-year-old daughter were killed in a freak car accident at Rathduff, outside Ballina, on Friday night. The next day came the news that a 62-year-old woman died in Ballina after a house fire in early hours of Sunday morning.
Locals in the tight-knit village of Knockmore are still shocked and deeply saddened by the deaths of Sandra Herbert (39) and her daughter Rachel (13), who drowned in the car accident on Friday night.
Mrs Herbert was driving her daughter and three of her daughter’s friends to a youth disco when her car left the road near Rathduff church and overturned into a drain. The three girls in the back seat managed to escape through a window that broke on impact. However, despite the best efforts of locals, Sandra and Rachel Herbert died before they were taken from the car.
A relative said it was ‘amazing’ that the other girls managed to escape.
The funeral for Sandra and Rachel Herbert will take place on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, Gardaí have sealed the area around the home of fire victim Ann Hallinan for a technical examination. The house is located in Convent Hill in Ballina. The woman lived there with her youngest son, Dominick. When Dominick returned home after a night out with friends shortly after 4am, he discovered that the upstairs bedroom in which his mother was sleeping was on fire.
He tried desperately to reach the room to rescue her, but was prevented by dense smoke. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Full report in tomorrow’s Mayo News.