Belfast Telegraph

Girl, 14, and mother die in crash

A night out at a disco for four teenage girls ended in tragedy when a 14-year-old and her mother were killed in a car crash.

Driver Sandra Herbert, 40, and her daughter Rachel, who was a front-seat passenger, died when their car overturned and ended up in a stream.

Two 14-year-olds and a 13-year-old girl who were in the back seat escaped from the vehicle and raised the alarm following the crash in Co Mayo.

It has not been determined if weather conditions were a factor in the accident, but large parts of the country had been hit by overnight frost.

The injured children were taken to hospital but their condition is not believed to be life-threatening.

The mother and daughter were from Knockmore, and it is believed the accident happened while they were taking the 20-minute journey between their home and the disco at around 9pm.

The area where the car left the road at Rathbaun, Cloghans, near Ballina, was sealed off for forensic examination. No other vehicle was involved in the incident.

The priest who knows the Herbert family said the loss of life was a devastating blow that was made all the more tragic as it came at a time when the local community were preparing for Christmas.

"It is an awful shock altogether," said Fr Michael Flynn. "Everybody is in a total state of shock this morning because everybody knew the family so well. They were involved in the community."

Fr Flynn described Mrs Herbert as "a good mother, a good wife". He told RTE radio: "It is tragic at any time of the year, but at Christmas, it highlights it even more."

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