Girl (16) with special needs was a passenger in her parents’ car when it was robbed by a criminal and moments later collapsed, killing him

A 16-year-old girl with special needs was sitting alone in her parents’ car when an opportunistic car thief stole it.

Shortly after taking the vehicle, the criminal had crashed the car, resulting in his death and leaving the teenager with life-changing injuries.

Thief Dale Fogarty, 37, from Clough in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, who is known to Gardaí and had problems with alcohol and drug addiction, stole the car in Vicar Street in the city of Kilkenny on Friday afternoon.

It is understood that her father picked something up at his office and left his daughter alone for a moment.

When he came back outside, his car was gone with his daughter.

The criminal drove out of the city of Kilkenny towards Ballyragget with the teenager in the back seat.

He drove “extremely dangerously” and overtook a few cars on a continuous white line in a particularly dangerous corner.

About two minutes after he stole the car, the accident happened.

The driver, who Gardaí suspect may have been under the influence but is awaiting toxicology results, drove the stolen car into another car traveling towards Kilkenny.

In the other vehicle were three adults, including a couple in their 40s and one of their fathers – a man in his 60s who was taking them to a wedding. The three were also seriously injured, but their injuries are not life-threatening.

The car thief, who survived a serious stabbing a decade ago, died in hospital after the collision.

Justice Secretary Helen McEntee described it as a “really unusual and really tragic incident” in Kilkenny at Fine Gael ard Fheis in Athlone this afternoon.

“We have one person who passed away, we have a young woman who was seriously ill and obviously we had another car with occupants who were also injured,” she said.

“I think we need to get to the bottom of it and understand exactly what happened, but a really very devastating incident to happen point.

“I have no doubt that this is chilling for the people involved and the young woman involved, and if the Gardaí need assistance or help with their investigation, they will obviously be given the resources they need.”

A Garda spokesman said: “A teenage girl was in the vehicle when it was stolen.

“This vehicle was later involved in the fatal traffic accident.”

The N77 between Hennebry’s Cross and Dinan Bridge remained closed overnight and the services of Forensic Collision Investigators were called in.

Local diversions via Castlecomer Road are in place.

Gardaí is appealing to all witnesses to these incidents to come forward to assist them in their ongoing investigation.

All road users with camera footage (including dash cam) who were traveling between 3.15pm and 4.00pm on the N77 between Kilkenny city and Ballyragget are asked to provide such footage to Gardaí.

Gardaí are also appealing to all road users who may have camera footage (including dash cam) who were out and about on Kilkenny’s Green Street between 3pm and 3.30pm to make this footage available to them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kilkenny Garda Station on 056 7775000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station. Girl (16) with special needs was a passenger in her parents’ car when it was robbed by a criminal and moments later collapsed, killing him

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