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Road tragedy Child driver (12) who died in Limerick road crash in relative’s car named locally

We are stunned and saddened by the scale of the tragedy,’ say locals

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The scene of a crash on the Limerick side of Adare which happened at approx 2am on Friday morning. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

The scene of a crash on the Limerick side of Adare which happened at approx 2am on Friday morning. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

The scene of a crash on the Limerick side of Adare which happened at approx 2am on Friday morning. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

A 12-year-old boy killed in a horrific road collision this morning has been named localled as Wiktor Chojecki, a First Year student in Scoil Mhuire agus Íde, Newcastle West.

Wiktor was driving a car owned by a relative when he died after the vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with a truck near the village of Adare in Co Limerick around 2am.

Gardai believe the boy had taken the Nissan Qashqai earlier in the night while other family members were asleep.

The family live in the Newcastle West area, around 25km from Adare.

One line of investigation is that the schoolboy had taken the vehicle for “a spin” and was driving home on the N21 at at Rineroe near Adare when the accident happened.

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The crash took place in the early Hours of Thursday morning on the N21 outside Adare, County Limerick 
Picture Brendan Gleeson

The crash took place in the early Hours of Thursday morning on the N21 outside Adare, County Limerick Picture Brendan Gleeson

The crash took place in the early Hours of Thursday morning on the N21 outside Adare, County Limerick Picture Brendan Gleeson

The boy, who was the sole occupant of the car, was due to celebrate his 13th birthday in the coming weeks.

While the driver of the truck, a man in his 40s, was treated for shock at the scene, he was not injured and did not require hospital treatment.

Limerick community leaders and locals have expressed shock at the child’s death.

The boy's family are not originally from Limerick but had moved to the area a number of years ago.

Principal Seán Lane said there is a deep sense of “sorrow and sadness” right across the school community in Scoil Mhuire, especially among his classmates in First Year.

“It’s very shocking, we had to break the news to the students this morning. Our teachers had to be briefed and then they went on to break the news to the students. It was very shocking for students and the outpouring of emotion that came with it.

“We then went on to identify the students particularly affected by it and offer the support that was required.

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“It’s a huge loss to us all and we want to send our condolences to the family and we offer them any support the school can provide in these difficult times”.

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Junction 5 near the Adare roundabout where the collision occurred (Pic: Brendan Gleeson)

Junction 5 near the Adare roundabout where the collision occurred (Pic: Brendan Gleeson)

Junction 5 near the Adare roundabout where the collision occurred (Pic: Brendan Gleeson)

“Our critical incident plan was implemented this morning. The Year Head, Class Tutors and Counsellors worked with the class group affected and all the students in the school.

“We had a NEPS [National Educational Psychological Service] psychologist on site today to support our school community.

“Them supports will continue into the future for members of the school community affected by it,” Mr Lane said.

Newcastle West's Councillor Michael Collins said the entire community was stunned by the death of such a young boy in a collision.

"It is shocking to see any life lost in a road traffic collision but when it is such a young life, it is very hard to comprehend," he said.

"We are stunned and saddened by the scale of the tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with that young boy's family at this awful time.

"This terrible accident has certainly cast a dark cloud over the entire community. Everyone here is very shocked."

The boy’s body been removed to the morgue at University Hospital Limerick, and the coroner has been notified.

It was shortly before 2am when gardaí and emergency services were alerted to the tragedy on the N21 at Rineroe near Adare.

The scene is preserved for examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators. Diversions are currently in place on the N21, with city bound traffic being diverted from Adare via Croom.

Locals have been left devastated by the news of such a young death in their community.

Resident Joseph Donoghue told the Irish Independent: "I thought I hadn't heard it right when I listened to the news reports of the accident and they gave the age of the (deceased) driver.

"It is a shocking thing to happen and your heart goes out not only to the family of the poor boy who lost his life but also to the truck driver involved."

Chairman of the Newcastle West Municipal District Councillor Liam Galvin described it as "a terrible tragedy."

"It is so, so sad. Our thoughts are with that young boy's family, his neighbours and of course his school friends and classmates.

"It is a shocking thing to happen in any community. Our communities have had such a difficult time with Covid-19 and now to see a tragedy like this happen locally? People are understandably very upset."

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this collision to come forward. Any road users who may have camera footage, including dash-cam, and were travelling on the N21 near Adare area at the time of the collision are asked to make this footage available to gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Newcastlewest Garda Station 069 20650, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

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