A Tragic Toll

The 56-year-old North Roscommon man who died in a horrific accident involving the school bus he was driving was hailed yesterday (Wednesday) as a hero whose actions may have saved lives.    Eugene McGreevy from Boyle, Co. Roscommon died at the scene of the accident which occurred about three-quarters of a mile outside the village of Hillstreet at 8.25 am on Wednesday morning. The identity of the victim was confirmed as we went to press. He is the sixth Roscommon man to die as a result of a road traffic accident in the past three weeks. A Bus Eireann spokesperson said that the company understands that the driver’s evasive action could have saved lives and injury.   Mr. McGreevy’s death came less than a week after the horrific accident at Mullymux, Roscommon which claimed the lives of two 17-year-old friends,  Padraig McHugh of Rockfield and Kieran Kelly of Rathbrennan. Their friends, Colm Mee (17) and Paul O’Grady (18) were injured in the crash which occurred in the early hours of Friday morning last (see page 3).    27 second-level pupils travelling to school in Carrick-on-Shannon were on the school bus which collided with a van near Hillstreet on Wednesday morning.  Three men in the van were hospitalised with injuries which were not life-threatening.    Mr. McGreevy, a well-known local man who was aged 56, and who drove school buses locally for over 30 years, was killled instantly in the crash. Two of the children on the bus were take to Sligo General Hospital suffering from minor injuries and a number of other children received counselling in Carrick-on-Shannon and Sligo.   Erica Roseingrave, a spokesperson for Bus Eireann, said that the dead man was an exceptionally good and safe driver. ‘This man drove school buses for the past 30 years and had an unblemished record.  ‘In fact he was nominated many times for safe driving awards. In fact we understand that his evasive action in this case could have saved lives and injury.’