Thou­sands to mourn teacher killed by pick-up truck in freak school ac­ci­dent

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - News - Stephen Maguire

A TOWN in Co Done­gal will come to a stand­still to­mor­row for the fu­neral of one its best-loved young cit­i­zens.

Teacher Dawn Croke, who was in her 30s, died when she was struck by a pick-up truck in the grounds of St Crona’s Na­tional School in Dun­gloe on Thurs­day evening at around 6.30pm.

The pop­u­lar PE and re­source teacher at Rosses Com­mu­nity School was killed in­stantly. The six-yearold daugh­ter of Ms Croke’s part­ner, Pa­trick McHugh, was in­jured by the run­away ve­hi­cle, but was saved by the quick-think­ing ac­tion of brave Ms Croke who pushed her out of the way.

Gar­dai are in­ves­ti­gat­ing what ex­actly caused the Ford Ranger to move for­ward and cause the tragedy.

The town in West Done­gal has been in mourn­ing since the freak ac­ci­dent.

Ms Croke, who comes from a very well-known and re­spected fam­ily from Quay Road in the town, will be laid to rest fol­low­ing her fu­neral Mass at 11am at St Crona’s Church, with burial af­ter­wards in Magh­ery ceme­tery.

A huge crowd is ex­pected at the fu­neral, with guards of hon­our from both Rosses Com­mu­nity School and the Mary from Dun­gloe In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val.

Dawn was the 2008 Dun­gloe en­try for the Mary from Dun­gloe event, an hon­our she was very proud of, ac­cord­ing to friends.

Huge num­bers of peo­ple have been at­tend­ing her wake at her par­ents’ home since 10am yes­ter­day.

Rosses Com­mu­nity School, the school in which Ms Croke was so highly thought of, will re­main closed to­mor­row.

Dawn is sur­vived by her fa­ther Tony, also a teacher at Rosses Com­mu­nity School, and her mother Anne, broth­ers and sis­ter as well as her own two lit­tle boys Ja­son and Calum.

A state­ment is­sued on be­half of Rosses Com­mu­nity school said: “Our school wish to send our love and sup­port to the fam­ily, school and lo­cal com­mu­nity at this sad time.

“We, the school com­mu­nity, re­mem­ber with love and fond­ness our col­league Dawn. We pray for the fam­ily and friends at this sad time.”

Lo­cal TD Pat ‘The Cope’ Gal­lagher is a per­sonal friend of the Croke fam­ily and in De­cem­ber wel­comed Dawn and her pupils for a visit to Dail Eire­ann.

He said: “I wish to ex­press my deep­est sym­pa­thies and my pro­found per­sonal sad­ness to her par­ents, her sons, her sib­lings, to her work col­leagues and her wider cir­cle of fam­ily and friends.

“There is a deep sense of shock and dis­be­lief within our com­mu­nity that such a freak and tragic ac­ci­dent oc­curred. It is truly shock­ing.”

MOURN­ING: The fu­neral Mass of teacher Dawn Croke, who died when she was struck by a pick-up truck, will be held to­mor­row

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