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Derry mother-of-three Maria Wallace killed in Donegal Glenfin Road crash

By Greg Harkin and Luke Byrne

Published 22/09/2016

A 19-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene, while a woman in her late 30s was brought to Letterkenny University Hospital and was later pronounced dead
A 19-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene, while a woman in her late 30s was brought to Letterkenny University Hospital and was later pronounced dead

A Londonderry mother-of-three has been killed in a horrific car crash in Donegal.

Maria Wallace (38) and Kiara Baird (19) both lost their lives in the accident at around 4.15pm on the Glenfin Road, on the outskirts of Ballybofey, Co Donegal.

The teenager is originally from Tallaght, in west Dublin.

It is understood the blue Citroen C3 they were travelling in left the R252 road on a sweeping bend.

The car collided with a pole and came to a stop in a parking area for trucks.

The weather at the time was said to be poor, and the area experienced heavy downpours of rain yesterday, following a two-day dry spell.

Gardai attended the scene shortly after the incident and the road remained closed for a number of hours last night.

Ms Baird was pronounced dead at the scene while Ms Wallace was taken to Letterkenny University Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

The man, who was aged in his 40s, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was also taken to Letterkenny University Hospital. No other injuries were reported.

Tributes were paid online to the pair this morning.

Friend Victoria Sweeney wrote of Ms Baird: "Such a shock, rip beautiful girl sleep tight Kiara Baird gone but never forgotten you will be sadly missed."

Another pal described the teenager as "a wee legend" who was "always the life of the party".

Sophia Villa wrote on Facebook of Ms Wallace who was also known as Maria Carlin: "Life is just so fragile you forget just how quickly it can be taken away in the saddest of circumstances. Rest well with the Angels Maria Carlin. Please keep my siblings and their family in your prayers tonight folks."

Jackson's Hotel is around 800m from the crash site in the town land of Camish and a staff member said she understood one of the deceased was the relative of a colleague.

Local Fianna Fail councillor Patrick McGowan described the incident as an awful tragedy.

"There's families now just waiting for bad news. It's terrible," he said.

Gardai have appealed for witnesses and anyone with information has been asked to contact them at Letterkenny Garda Station on 074 9167100, the Garda Confidential Line, 1800 666111 or any garda station.

Councillor Liam Doherty, from Sinn Fein, said it was the second tragedy in just over three years on the stretch of road.

"Another young lad, his name was Shane, was killed there a few years ago," he said.

In June 2013, Shane Brolly (18) was killed when the car he was driving was in a collision close to the scene of yesterday's accident. He was in the car with twin sister Emma, who survived.

The incident brought the total number of people to have lost their lives on Donegal's roads to 10 this year.

Irish Independent

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