Family of tragic Cork teen say 'no more children should die' on northside roads

Family of tragic Cork teen say 'no more children should die' on northside roads
The overturned car on Harbour View Rd, Knocknaheeny

THE grieving family of a young girl killed in a horrific crash in Knocknaheeny have been forced to 'relive the nightmare' after a joyriding smash on the same stretch of road. 

The family of Kimberly O'Connor, who died aged 16 in a crash on Harbour View Road in February, have been left distraught by the latest incident near their home. 

Shortly after midnight today, a car flipped over on Harbour View Road after smashing into a vehicle driven by a pizza delivery man, who was taken to the Mercy University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Four youths fled from the suspected stolen vehicle. 

Kimberly's aunt Valerie Haynes told The Echo the family are now seeking traffic calming measures on the road. 

Valerie said: "What matters now is that lives will not be taken because of speed on that road. Ramps will have to be put in. Innocent lives must not be lost, and no more children can die."

She said the latest incident added to the trauma of Kimberly's mother and sisters, who live close by.

Ms Haynes said: "We will not get Kimberly back but we have to stop this speeding.

"It is disrespectful to Kimberly to be speeding up and down that road."

Kimberly O'Connor (16) who was killed in car crash on Harbour View Road, Knocknaheeny, Cork city.
Kimberly O'Connor (16) who was killed in car crash on Harbour View Road, Knocknaheeny, Cork city.

Meanwhile, former Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald, who lives in the area, has written to the Minister for Justice to raise concerns that youth workers are not classed as "essential workers" during the covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Fitzgerald wrote the letter following last night's incident on Harbour View Road and a mass brawl in Rochestown at the weekend. 

Cllr Fitzgerald said: ''I am questioning why youth workers are non-essential during Covid-19. 

"We have seen over the last couple of weeks concerns about some young people congregating together in parts of the city and county. 

"Youth work has been classed as non-essential. I would question that decision.

"'There needs to be a revisit of the area of youth workers.''

He said young people are currently out of school because of the Covid-19 lockdown and cannot avail of any amenities or sports.

He also said that there is a need to highlight to young people the dangers of Covid-19 to show them why social distancing is so important.

Cllr Fitzgerald added: ''This has been an issue since day one and you cannot keep young people in their homes every day of the week.''

Sinn Fein's Deputy Thomas Gould said the location of the incident was so close to where Kimberly was killed.

He said there is a need for traffic calming measures in the area and said Harbour View Road is one of the main traffic arteries on the northside of the city.

''With no Northern Ring Road, there is no proper road system on the northside so roads like Harbour View Road in residential areas are not suitable for the number of cars and speed," he said.

He said locals in the Harbour View Road area want traffic calming measures such as ramps and speed cameras.

''The whole layout of the road will have to be looked at from a safety perspective.''


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