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Carnage on county roads claims three lives


County rocked by four horrific accidents over the last week

Anton McNulty

In one of the worst weeks for road safety in the county where three people lost their lives, the Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council has appealed for the public to take care on the roads.
The death of a man in his 70s yesterday afternoon (Monday) following a two-vehicle collision near The Neale in south Mayo brought the number of deaths on the county’s roads to three in just five days.
To put that figure in context, there were five deaths in the whole of 2020, while in 2019 saw just three fatalities from Mayo road traffic collisions.
The death of the Martin Lydon from Cong on Monday morning followed the tragic deaths of 17-year-old David McHale after a crash late on Saturday evening, and that of Latvian national Deniss Prosvirnevs (45), who was hit by a car on Wednesday evening while walking along the Humbert Way bypass in Castlebar.
A total of four serious road traffic collisions occurred between Wednesday evening and Monday morning. On top of the three confirmed deaths, a number of people were also brought to hospital suffering from serious injuries.
Following a shocking week, Noel Gibbons, the Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council, issued a plea for all motorists to take care on the roads ahead of St Patrick’s Day.
“Firstly we want to extend our sympathies to all the families who have been affected by the terrible tragedies over the past few days.
“Whilst road users this St Patrick’s Day may experience different traffic volumes compared to other years, that does not mean there is any less need to be mindful of the dangers whilst out driving, cycling or walking, so please be careful on our roads no matter what type of road user you are,” he said.

‘Horrendous tragedy’
The death of Martin Lydon (74) was confirmed yesterday evening after he was involved in a two-vehicle collision while travelling along the R334, Cross to The Neale Road. The collision between the car driven by Mr Lydon and an oil delivery lorry travelling in the opposite direction occurred shortly before midday.
It is believed that the oil lorry attempted to avoid the collision and in the process overturned and landed in an adjoining field. Mr Lydon was pronounced dead at the scene while the lorry driver was transported to Mayo University Hospital.
Mr Lydon, a single man, had been in Ballinrobe earlier that morning. Local councillor Michael Burke said he was shocked to hear of news of the death.
“This was a horrendous tragedy to happen. We are shocked to hear of the death of Martin, who was a lovely man. Our thoughts are also with the driver of the lorry, and everyone in the community wishes him a speedy recovery,” Cllr Burke said.
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to come forward. They are also appealing to any road users with camera footage (including dash-cam) from along this route at the time of the collision to make it available to them.

‘Lovely young lad’
Gardaí in Castlebar are also investigating the death of 17-year-old Rice College student, David McHale from Newfield, Mulranny, who died on Saturday evening when the car he was driving crashed along the Newport Road at Corha, Castlebar.
The single-vehicle collision took place at approximately 11.50pm. The car’s three occupants  were all brought to Mayo University Hospital, and David McHale was pronounced dead a couple of hours later.  
Former county councillor Michael Holmes, is a neighbour of David McHale, said the community is shocked at the tragic news.
“David was a neighbour of ours and only lived a couple of hundred yards from us. He was a lovely young lad. The community has been in complete shock ever since news of what occurred broke. It is not the news you want to wake up to on Mother’s Day,” he said.
David was the youngest son of Patrick and Josephine McHale and a Fifth Year Leaving Cert Applied student in Rice College, Westport.
In a statement on the school Facebook page, Principal Michael Rabbette wrote: “This is a terrible tragedy for the McHale family, our school and our community. We are deeply saddened by these events. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the McHale family and friends.”
Mr Rabbette said the school has implemented its Critical Incident Management Plan and the Critical Incident Team has met with the National Educational Psychological Service.
“Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) will be supporting and advising teachers in their efforts to assist our students at this time. If you have any concerns and require support for your son please do not hesitate to contact us,” he said.
One of the two other passengers in the car, who is also a teenager, remains in a serious condition in Mayo University Hospital, while the second passenger, who is in his early 20s, was released and is recovering at home.
The Castlebar to Newport road (R311) was closed following the collision in order to facilitate a forensic collision investigation and local diversions are in place on Sunday.
Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this collision to come forward. They are also appealing for any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam), who were travelling in the area between 11.40pm and midnight to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Hit and run
In a separate incident, Latvian national Deniss Prosvirnevs (45) of Spencer Street, Castlebar, died after a hit-and-run collision on Wednesday night. Mr Prosvirnevs was walking along Humbert Way on the Castlebar bypass when he was struck by a car at 11.50pm. He was treated at the scene, but he later died from his injuries in Mayo University Hospital.
On Saturday, a man in his 30s was arrested in relation to the hit and run and was subsequently released without charge. A file is being prepared for the DPP.
Mr Prosvirnevs was a native of Liepaja, Latvia, but he had lived in Co Mayo for a number of years and had worked on a number of construction sites around the county.
A Russian Orthodox Service took place at Kilcoyne Funeral Home, Castlebar on Sunday followed by a private cremation, with the remains to be repatriated to his native Latvia.

Motorbike smash
Gardaí are also appealing for witnesses following a serious road traffic collision involving a motorcycle that occurred at Glenisland, at 7pm on Sunday evening.
A male motorcyclist in his 20s was seriously injured when his bike left the road at Glenisland on the R312 near Castlebar. Local gardaí, the National Ambulance Service and the local fire service all attended the scene.
Traffic diversions were put in place, and an examination of the scene was carried out by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators on Monday morning.
Gardaí are urging anyone who may have witnessed this collision to come forward. They are particularly appealing to any road users with camera footage from along the route at the time.
Anyone with information can contact Gardaí at Castlebar Station on 094 9038200 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.