Teen's terror | 

Notorious criminal stole car with vulnerable girl (16) inside before being killed in crash

The car thief, who had previously survived a serious stabbing incident a decade ago, died in hospital following the collision.

The crash occurred yesterday afternoon on the N77 between Kilkenny town and Ballyragget

Ali Bracken and Hugh O'ConnellSunday World

A vulnerable 16-year-old girl was sitting in her parents’ car when an opportunistic car thief stole it with her inside.

Minutes after stealing the vehicle the criminal had crashed the car, resulting in his death and leaving the teenager with life-changing injuries.

The deceased thief, who is known to gardai in Kilkenny and had alcohol and drugs addiction issues, stole the car with the vulnerable teenager in it on Vicar Street in Kilkenny town on Friday afternoon.

It is understood that her father had gone to collect something in his office and left his daughter alone momentarily.

When he came back outside, his car with his daughter in it was gone.

The criminal proceeded to drive out of Kilkenny town towards Ballyragget with the terrified teenager in the back seat. He was driving “extremely dangerously” and overtook a couple of cars on a particularly dangerous bend, on a continuous white line.

About two minutes after he stole the car, the crash occurred. The driver, who gardai suspect might have been under the influence but await toxicology results, crashed the stolen car into another car which was heading towards Kilkenny town.

In the other vehicle were three adults. They are a couple in their 40s and one of their fathers, a man in his 60s, who was dropping them to a wedding. The three were also seriously injured but their injuries are not life-threatening.

Speaking at the Fine Gael ard fheis in Athlone this afternoon (SA), Justice Minister Helen McEntee described it as a “really unusual and really tragic incident” in Kilkenny.

“We have one individual who has passed away, we have a young woman who was critically ill, and obviously we had another car with passengers who were also injured as well," she said.

“I think we need to get to the bottom and understand exactly what has happened but really very devastating incident to happen full stop.

"I have no doubt terrifying for the people involved and for the young woman involved and obviously if the gardaí need any support or help in their investigation then obviously they will get the resources that they need.”

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