Boy (11) on bicycle dies after being hit by car in Co Offaly

Boy’s death brings death toll of cyclists this year to eight

The scene in Marshbrook, Co Offaly on the R446 road, where an 11-year-old boy died. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

The scene in Marshbrook, Co Offaly on the R446 road, where an 11-year-old boy died. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

 

Gardaí have launched an investigation after an 11-year-boy died while cycling to school on Thursday morning.

The child was on his way to Tubber National School, about 5km outside his home town of Moate, when he was hit by a car at about 9.15am at the Marshbrook area of Co Offaly, on the R446 old Dublin to Galway road, near the Co Westmeath border.

The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. A pathologist carried out a preliminary examination of the body and the boy was then due to be taken from the scene for a full postmortem.

Gardaí confirmed the scene had been preserved and that local diversions were in place. Members of the Garda’s collision investigation unit were also set to examine the scene as part of the inquiry to establish exactly how the fatal collision occurred. There were no reports of injury to the male driver (30) or any other passengers travelling in the vehicle that struck the boy.

Gardaí in Tullamore are appealing for anybody with information or who may have witnessed the incident to contact them on 057-932 7600 or to contact any other Garda station.

It follows the death last week of another boy while he was cycling in Co Louth. Daniel Roche (13) was hit by a car while out cycling at about 8.30pm on August 21st and died two days later at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital from his injuries. He was hit by a car on the N51 Slane Road, Drogheda.

Also last Sunday week, a woman from Germany died when she lost control of her bicycle while descending the high mountain Conor Pass climb in Co Kerry. Gardaí said no other road user was involved and that the woman had hit a ditch, thereby suffering fatal injuries.

Eight cyclists have been killed on the Republic’s roads between the start of the year and September 1st, according to provisional figures from the Garda. The figure compares to nine cyclists who died on the road throughout 2015.

The latest death comes as a new national cycling standard is due to be announced this autumn. Efforts to develop the new standard began five years ago when relevant agencies involved in cycling safety came together to agree a national approach which would be taught by instructors across the country.

The Department of Transport appointed a committee made up of members of the Road Safety Authority, Cycling Ireland, An Taisce, the Garda, Green Schools and local authorities, to oversee the introduction of the new approach. This was followed by the establishment of Cycle Right in 2014. Cycle Right was set up by Cycling Ireland with a view to developing national standards.

Cycling Ireland has examined international best practice, looked at current developmental training for cyclists in Ireland and at how cycling is taught to schoolchildren. Earlier this year the organisation said it expected the new standard would be ready to be rolled out in the autumn. Efforts on Thursday to contact a Cycle Ireland spokeswoman were not successful.