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Irish mum killed in crash after stopping on hard shoulder to take hospital call about newborn

Young woman killed in motorway crash had just become a first-time mum the day before

By Conor Feehan

Published 06/09/2016

Nicola Kenny was killed in a road accident
Nicola Kenny was killed in a road accident

The young woman tragically killed by a truck on the M8 motorway in the Republic of Ireland on Monday had only become a mother for the first time on Sunday.

Nicola Kenny (26), from Thurles in Co Tipperary, was travelling to Dublin after her day-old daughter was transferred to Temple Street hospital because of concerns for her health.

But while making the journey Nicola, who was traveling with her mother Ann, and aunt Irene, who was driving, received a phone call from the hospital.

They pulled into the hard shoulder of the M8 motorway to take the call, which was the good news that little baby Lily-Rose was recovering well and was about to be transferred back to Clonmel hospital where she was born.

It was just after the phone conversation ended when a truck smashed into the back of the car, killing Nicola, who was in the back seat and injuring her mother and aunt.

In Thurles today, the shocked community in and around Kennedy Park, which lies in the shadows of Semple Stadium where the Tipperary minor and senior hurling teams were welcomed home yesterday after their All Ireland victories, were gathering around the Kenny family as news of Nicola’s death spread.

“Nicola had Lily-Rose in the early hours of Sunday morning in Clonmel hospital, and all was well, but then later on Sunday there was a bit of concern that the baby had a bit of a temperature and it was decided to transfer her to Temple Street,” a family spokesman told the Herald today.

“Then yesterday Nicola was being driven up to be with the baby when a call came through from the hospital that everything was fine.

"Ann pulled the car in to the hard shoulder so Nicola could take the call, and they were delighted to hear Lily-Rose was doing well, and that’s when the crash happened,” he added.

“We are all devastated, Sunday was a big day of celebration with the baby being born and the Tipperary success at Croke Park, and then this happened.

“Nicola was a great girl, she always had a smile on her face, she was well known in the town and knew everybody because she worked in the local Tesco. It’s heartbreaking,” he explained.

The crash happened at 12.25pm in the northbound side of the M8 between junctions 9 and 10 near Dogstown.

Nicola’s mother received a broken arm and a shoulder injury in the impact but is now back at the family home grieving for her daughter.

Nicola’s aunt, Irene, is in the intensive care unit of University Hospital Limerick.

“She has a lot of injuries from the crash but they aren’t believed to be life-threatening, however it will take her a long time to recover,” said the family spokesman.

The driver of the truck was not injured in the crash but was arrested in relation to the crash and later released.

Locals said Nicola would always have a cheery hello for everybody.

“They loved her down in Tesco, she was so friendly and warm. We’re all just shocked to be honest,” said one neighbour.

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