Mum killed in horror smash

Jacqueline Wolohan
Jacqueline Wolohan

A family has described their devastation after a 51-year-old mother of three was killed in a horrific crash in Westmeath in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Jacqueline Wolohan of Coolock in north Dublin was killed after her silver Nissan Micra was involved in a collision with a blue Opel Astra that was being driven by an off-duty Garda on the M4 near Kinnegad at about 1.30am.

Her son Andrew, a family friend and a cousin who were travelling with her, were injured in the crash and remain in stable condition in hospital.

The driver of the other car, an off-duty Garda, is also receiving medical attention.

Yesterday, Ms Wolohan’s daughter, Alison, spoke of the family’s upset.

“They were travelling home to Dublin from Longford when it happened,” she said.

“We went out to the crash and both cars were still there. We initially were looking for my mum’s dog ‘Honey’ as Andrew, my brother, is very close to her.

“We found her but she was dead too and is now with my mam.”

The scene of the crash

Alison added that Andrew and the other injured passengers were “okay” in hospital “with some broken bones”.

Earlier, Alison’s sister Sarah posted a moving tribute to her late mother on Facebook.

She wrote: ‘Thank you all for the kind messages today. I’m sorry if I haven’t replied but your caring words means a lot.

‘Today I woke up to the horrific news that my mother had died. Heaven has gained one funny, special and beautiful character. Rest in peace ma, your memory will live on forever’.

Family friends replied with their own messages of support and love for the family.

‘im so very sorry to hear your news. If you need anything let me know. Xxxxxxxx,” wrote one poster while another added, ‘So sorry for your loss hun thinking of you xx’.

One friend wrote: ‘ I thinking of of u Sarah and ur brother and sister and the family. I only just got told I going to miss so you so much rip Jackie ill never you forget you xxxxcxxx’.

‘Ah Sarah I am so sorry to hear about your mum’, added another. ‘Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.’

There was massive disruption to traffic as the eastbound carriageway of the M4 between the Kinnegad and Enfield exits was closed until early yesterday afternoon to allow forensic examinations to be completed.

One local county councillor, Andrew Duncan, said it was a very busy road junction with traffic travelling  from Galway meeting  other traffic travelling  towards  the capital.

The incident was referred by the gardai to GSOC under section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, which provides for independent investigation of “any matter that appears to indicate that the conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person”.

The Garda press office confirmed  the name of the victim who died in the  fatal road traffic as  Jacqueline Wolohan, of Coolock, Dublin 17.

“The investigation to establish the circumstances of her death continues,” the statement reads. GSOC also issued an appeal, “for anyone who witnessed the collision, or anyone who may have seen a blue Opel Astra, 2005 registration, or a silver Nissan Micra, 2004 registration, travelling on the eastbound side of the M4 at about 1.30am, or anyone with information which may assist the investigation to contact them on 1890600800”.