British family die in head-on collision near Cork

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The Independent Online

Four members of a holidaymaking British family who died in a head-on road crash in the Irish Republic were named by police yesterday.

Four members of a holidaymaking British family who died in a head-on road crash in the Irish Republic were named by police yesterday.

The dead were Eric Pickford, 45, his wife Gillian, 35, Emma Bintliff, 14, Mrs Pickford's daughter by a previous marriage, and the couple's son Simon, four. Another of their children, a boy aged six, remained critically ill in Cork's University Hospital.

The family came from Marple, Stockport, near Manchester and had arrived in Ireland on a car ferry for a holiday on Friday.

Their Mitsubishi space-wagon vehicle collided with a lorry on the road between Mallow and Mitchelstown, County Cork, and both vehicles burst into flames seconds after the impact. Customers from a nearby pub and people in following cars used fire extinguishers in a desperate rescue bid and hauled one child from the blazing wreckage after smashing a car window.

The lorry driver received only minor injuries and also helped in vain efforts to reach the family. Irish police identified the dead and injured through a telephone number found in a handbag recovered from their vehicle.

A senior Irish police officer said the scene of the crash was "devastating".

The family's neighbours spoke of their shock at learning of the tragic crash which killed four members of the same family. Jane Hulmes, who lives next door but one to the Pickford's home, said the news had devastated the local community.

Gill, a school friend from Marple Bridge secondary school, was a housewife and "absolutely besotted" with her children, she said. Mrs Pickford's eldest son, David, had stayed at home, having only recently received his GCSE results.

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