Monday, 28 May 2012
Post-Mortems On Ireland Rally Crash Victims
Caroline Cleary, 30, a female rally co-driver from Wexford, and Joe Lane, 50, a part-time sports photographer from Galway, died when a Ford Escort lost control and crashed into a group of 30 people.
Five other spectators and the Escort's driver and co-driver were also taken to hospital.
Their injuries are not life-threatening.
Police and Motorsport Ireland, which governs the sport, have launched separate investigations into the accident.
It happened at about 11.10am at Monaghanoose, a town about a mile outside Bailieboro in Co Cavan.
The deaths of Ms Cleary, 30, from Tagoat, Co Wexford, and Mr Lane, 50, from Kilgoggin, Co Galway, have plunged Ireland's motor sport community into grief.
Ms Cleary was a member of Wexford Motor Club, but was not taking part in the Cavan Stages Rally, while Mr Lane was a regular contributor to motorsport publications and a supporter of Galway Motor Club.
Cavan Motor Club, which staged the event, said the accident happened on stage one of the special stages rally.
Superintendent Gerry O'Brien, of Bailieboro Garda Station, said a rally car went over a hump in the road and lost control as it landed.
"It drove into a group of spectators," he said.
"We understand that the group accounted of about 30-odd people. Of those, unfortunately and regrettably, two died at the scene."
The tragedy also follows others which have devastated the sport in recent years.
Just over a week ago two people were killed in France when a rally car failed to take a right-turn on the route and ploughed straight into the crowd. At least 15 people were badly hurt, including many children.
In 2008, teenage rally fan Richard O'Donnell, from Strabane, was killed as he tried to cross a country road during the Donegal International Rally.
The 18-year-old was struck by a competing Ford Fiesta on the 11th stage of the competition, which is one of the biggest sporting events in the country.
Two years ago co-driver Thomas Maguire died in a crash in the Donegal rally, and in 2002 two stewards were also killed in the event.
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