Overloading of cars in Donegal a ‘worrying development’

Research shows disturbing trend of cramming into cars at night, says safety officer

Sunday’s early morning crash in Bundoran left two dead and two others seriously injured. There were six adults in the car.

Sunday’s early morning crash in Bundoran left two dead and two others seriously injured. There were six adults in the car.

 

Co Donegal’s road safety officer has said overloading cars is now one of their chief concerns when it comes to fatalities.

Brian O’Donnell of Donegal County Council said the local authority recently carried out research into dangerous habits by car users. And one of the most worrying developments is large numbers of people cramming into cars late at night to get home.

Mr O’Donnell was speaking following Sunday’s earning morning crash in Bundoran which has killed two people and left two others seriously injured. There were six adults in the car.

Four people, none of whom were wearing seat belts, were thrown from the rear of the Peugeot 306 which struck a wall and a lamp post at West End in Bundoran at 3.25am on Sunday.

Shiva Devine and Conall McAleer died instantly while two others are critically ill.

A man arrested in connection with the crash was questioned at Ballyshannon Garda station on Sunday, but released without charge. A file on the investigation is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The two people who died have been named locally as Shiva Devine, who lived in Beleek but was originally from Donegal, and Conor McAleer from Ederney in Co Fermanagh.
The two people who died have been named locally as Shiva Devine, who lived in Beleek but was originally from Donegal, and Conor McAleer from Ederney in Co Fermanagh.

Meanwhile, postmortems into the deaths of the two people killed in Sunday’s crash have been carried out at Sligo University Hospital.

The funeral of Ms Devine (20) who was living in Belleek, Co Fermanagh, will take place on Tuesday at 11am in St Brigid’s Church in her native Ballintra, Co Donegal .

Conall McAleer’s funeral is due to take place on Wednesday.

A third person, named as Rachel Elliott, has been transferred from Sligo hospital to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin for additional treatment.

“Our research has shown that this [cramming into cars late at night] is a worrying development because young people don’t care how they get home as long as they get home. And unfortunately our experience from that is some of them never make it home,” said Mr O’Donnell.

“And when there is an accident we have an unfortunate outcome like this. Instead of picking up the phone to a friend or even to their parents to ask for a lift, they are piling into any type of car because they are desperate to get home,” he added.

In the worst single crash in the history of the State, eight people were killed between Clonmany and Buncrana on the Inishowen Peninsula in 2010. Seven friends were killed in one car and a pensioner coming in the other direction also died.

So far this year eight people have been killed on Donegal’s roads, compared to six for 2017. They include a motorcyclist, a cyclist, two pedestrians, a tractor driver and three passengers.