'Widespread grief" | 

Toddler killed by jeep in Roscommon ‘wandered’ from holiday home

It is believed the toddler was struck as the SUV driver was pulling on to his land and didn’t see the child

The 21-month-old boy was hit by a jeep and died of his injuries near Ballinagare. Photo: Google

Wayne O'Connor and Seoirse MulgrewIndependent.ie

A toddler who was killed after he was struck by an SUV in Roscommon on Friday is believed to have wandered onto the road.

The 21-month-old boy was on holidays with his family in the area.

Gardaí say they are investigating the incident as a tragic accident.

Sources said it is believed the toddler was struck as the SUV driver was pulling on to his land near the village of Ballinagare yesterday morning and didn’t see the child.

After he realised what happened he alerted the toddler’s family and the alarm was raised.

It is believed the toddler wandered away from the house he was staying in without his family realising.

Locals said the family are thought to have travelled to the area for a summer break.

A post-mortem examination is taking place and the results will reveal his cause of death in the coming days.

A source told sundayworld.com the incident occurred at around 9am on a shared road which leads to a farm.

Gardaí said a technical examination of the scene was carried out by forensic experts. A liaison officer has been appointed to support the family and gardaí have also appealed for witnesses.

Locals said they were in a state of shock this weekend. Fianna Fáil councillor Paschal Fitzmaurice said people in the area were keen to show their support for the boy’s family.

“People in the local area are shocked and saddened,” he said.

“It’s a very sad situation when you hear of anybody killed like this, but especially when it is a very young child. People locally are thinking of the family.”

Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Independent councillor Tom Crosby, said the people across the county felt "hurt" as he offered his condolences.

"It's an awful sad tragedy in our area and I'd like to extend my condolences to the boy's family and neighbours and friends. Everyone feels the hurt in such a tragedy like this."

Local Fine Gael councillor Liam Callaghan said the community has been rocked by the sad news.

"There's widespread grief and shock in the wider community here in the Tulsk-Ballinagare area. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this very sad and tragic time," he said.

"You hear these stories in different areas around the country at different times, but when it comes to your own doorstep the whole reality hits home, and today sadly it has come to our community. I've no doubt that the community will rally around the family."

Latest figures show there have been 102 deaths so far on Irish roads in 2022, an increase of 15 compared to the same point last year.

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