Teenage girls killed in horror Irish car crash while going to promAugust 2, 2023
Family of teenage girl, 17, killed in horror Irish car crash alongside her 16-year-old friend while going to prom weep as guard of honour is held and coffin is driven through town
- Kiea McCann, 17 and her friend Dlava Mohamed, 16, died in crash near Clones
- Last pictures taken of the two girls were of them smiling in their prom dresses
A town in Ireland is mourning after two teenage girls were killed in a horror car crash while travelling to their school leaver’s ball – with a guard of honour forming as the coffin of one girl was driven to her family home.
The family of Kiea McCann, 17, wept as hundreds of residents in Clones, Co Monaghan, paid a moving tribute to the beloved schoolgirl, who lost her life along with her 16-year-old friend Dlava Mohamed.
The two teenagers died after the car they were travelling in to their Debs ball left the N54 and crashed into a tree on the side of the road, just outside Clones. Dlava’s death notice states that she died alongside her best friend.
Kiea’s remains were removed from a funeral home in Monaghan town and brought to Clones on Tuesday night. Many from the local community stood on Monaghan Street and at the town square, The Diamond, as a mark of support for the family.
A cortege of motorbikes and cars followed the hearse carrying the white coffin as it moved slowly through the town, stopping briefly outside a home where it is understood relatives of Dlava live.
The family of Kiea McCann (left) wept as hundreds of residents in Clones, Co Monaghan, paid tribute to the schoolgirl, who lost her life along with her friend Dlava Mohamed (right)
Many from the local community stood on Monaghan Street and at the town square, The Diamond, as a mark of support for the family
Hundreds of people formed a guard of honour as the hearse carrying the remains of Kiea McCann passed through Clones
Many in the crowd broke down and consoled each other as the hearse passed by.
Tragically, the last pictures taken of the two girls were of them smiling in their prom dresses as they got ready for the event to mark them graduating from senior school.
The girls’ families have paid tribute to them, with Kiea’s sister writing on social media: ‘I really don’t know what to say.
‘I’m just so heartbroken over you, my little baby sister. I have no words to describe the emotions going through me right now. I really don’t know what to do without you.
‘I am just so lost and don’t understand how something like this could just happen to you and I just hope you know that we all love you so much.’
In a statement, Kiea’s father Frankie McCann said that the girls had been getting ready for a night they had been looking forward to all year.
He said: ‘There was great excitement here in the house before they went out. We had food and Champagne and balloons, and it was going to be a great night.’
Kiea’s mother Teresa said: ‘It will be hard on all the young people. Hard on all the friends.’
Young people embrace as the hearse carrying the remains of Kiea McCann arrives to the family home in Clones, Co. Monaghan
Kiea was due to go to college in the autumn to study childcare, the family said.
The families are said to be ‘hugely devastated’ and suffering from shock in the aftermath of the fatal crash, in which three other occupants of the car were injured.
An 18-year-old woman is in a critical but stable condition at Cavan General Hospital, while a 60-year-old man remains in a critical condition in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.
An 18-year-old man also suffered non life-threatening injuries.
The scene on the N54 Clones to Smithborough road at Legnakelly was closed in the 24 hours after the crash, but reopened on Tuesday evening following a forensic examination of the scene.
A cortege of motorbikes and cars followed the hearse carrying the white coffin as it moved slowly through the town
Speaking at Clones Garda Station on Tuesday, Superintendent Patrick O’Connell said that the victims’ family members attended the scene on Monday night.
‘(They are) suffering from shock and trauma. They were at the scene last night, so they’re trying to deal with the whole aftermath of that and we’re there to try and support them.
‘We have family liaison officers appointed and we will continue over the days and weeks coming to continue to do that,’ he said, asking that the families’ privacy be respected.
Mr O’Connell said that gardai and the families of the victims are ‘eternally grateful’ to members of the public who stopped to offer their help at the scene of the crash.
He also thanked the ‘brilliant’ first responders who attended the ‘harrowing scene’ on Monday night.
Principal of Largy College Sharon Magennis expressed her ‘deepest sympathies’ to the families and friends of Dlava Mohamed and Kiea McCann
‘This was a particularly traumatic incident for everyone involved and I wish to acknowledge and thank all of the first responders who worked closely together – particularly members of An Garda Siochana, members of the ambulance and fire service, the hospital staff, and indeed members of the public who stopped to render assistance,’ he said.
Principal of Largy College Sharon Magennis expressed her ‘deepest sympathies’ to the families and friends of Dlava Mohamed and Kiea McCann.
She also expressed her gratitude to the first responders and gardai who responded to the incident and said their priority would now be on ‘the wellbeing and welfare of the students, parents and staff at this difficult time’.
Ms Magennis said in a statement: ‘It is with profound sadness and grief that we have learned about the devastating accident that resulted in the untimely and tragic loss of two cherished members of our school community.
‘We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends who have tragically lost loved ones.
‘The other individuals involved in the accident also remain in our thoughts and prayers at this time.’
She added: ‘We are grateful to the public for their deeply felt expression of support and ask that we be given the time and space to concentrate on supporting those in the school community who are most in need.’
Visiting Largy College on Tuesday, Social Protection Minister and local TD Heather Humphreys said that there was ‘a cloud over the town of Cones’ and said that people feel ‘upset’ and ‘numb’ in the wake of the tragedy.
‘It is every parent’s worst nightmare because nobody expects to get that phone call,’ she said.
‘One of the parents was on the football field last night and she got the call to go.
‘It’s just the shock and to think that this could happen to any child. And I know that many parents across the country are thinking all our children going to Debs, they start off a night full of fun and joy and then it ends up in tragedy.’
Sinn Fein TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Matt Carthy, told the PA news agency that it was ‘one of those moments where time stops still’.
‘The local community here, as they do, rallied immediately offering support for the families, in the immediate instance to the young people who were attending the Debs,’ he said.
Superintendent O’Connell said a senior investigating officer had been appointed and a case conference had been held at Monaghan Garda Station, but could not give details of the focus of the Garda investigation.
‘We are appealing for information and our primary concern at the moment is to support the families of those affected. But our investigation will progress at pace,’ he said.
The incident took place on a stretch of the N54 between Clones and Smithborough on Monday between 6.15pm and 7pm.
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