Death of man struck by pole on busy shopping street a ‘freak accident’
Man in 50s dies in Clonmel after car crashes into pole; woman in 60s dies in Thurles crash
“Wicked tragedy”: A man in his early 50s died early on Saturday following injuries suffered in an incident on Gladstone Street (general view above), Clonmel, at around 3pm on Friday. File photograph: Google Street View
The death of a man who was struck on the head by a pole on a busy shopping street after a car crashed into it was a “wicked tragedy”, the mayor of Clonmel has said.
The victim, who was in his early 50s, died early on Saturday at South Tipperary General Hospital following injuries suffered in the incident on Gladstone Street, in the Co Tipperary town, at about 3pm on Friday.
The car which struck the pole was being driven by a woman in her early 70s.
Garret Ahearn, mayor of the Clonmel borough district, said he believed the victim was originally from Poland and had been living in nearby Fethard.
“It is a wicked tragedy, a total freak accident,” he said.
Mr Ahearn, who has an office near the scene, said the spot where it happened is always very busy, especially at that time on a Friday afternoon.
“It would have been incredibly busy at the time,” he said.
“Traditionally it would be really busy anyway, but this is the weekend of the All-Ireland final, so everyone was about, getting flags, getting jerseys and that.
“Kids are off school, getting ready for the match on Sunday. It was probably one of the busiest Fridays we have had this summer.”
Mr Ahearn said there would have been lots of families in the area at the time and what people would have witnessed would have been traumatic.
“Even the gardaí were taken aback by it,” he said.
Mr Ahearn said it marked a double tragedy for the town in recent weeks, following the death of teenager Jack Downey, who died after he took a substance at the Indiependence music festival in Mitchelstown, Co Cork.
“The town was shocked and saddened by that awful tragedy, and to have this bestowed on us now within another matter of days, in the busiest area of the town, on a very busy, day, it is awful,” he said.
“The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the town are with the deceased’s family and friends.”
Mr Ahearn said gardaí were on the scene very quickly “and everything that could have been done was done, but unfortunately it wasn’t possible to save the man’s life”.
Separately, a woman in her 60s died in Thurles on Saturday morning after her car collided with a truck at about 2.30am.
The driver of the truck, a man in his 40s, was not injured in the collision, which happened at Dovea, Bouladuff on the N62, Thurles to Templemore road.
Gardaí have appealed to witnesses to contact them at Clonmel Garda station on 052 - 6177640 or Thurles Garda station on 0504 - 25100.