Tributes paid to Irish man killed in Sydney crash

Tributes paid to Irish man killed in Sydney crash
Francis Shanley

A 53-year-old man has been charged with dangerous driving causing death after an Irish tradesman was killed in a horror crash in Sydney.

Police allege that Francis Omigie was driving a Toyota Echo that changed lanes on the motorway and then stopped causing multiple collisions on the M4 motorway on Thursday morning.

Francis Shanley, 36, from Bornacoola, Co Leitrim was killed when his car was hit by a beer truck in the pile-up involving eleven cars.

Francis Omigie was arrested by police on Friday night and charged with dangerous driving causing death, negligent driving causing death, failing to stop and assist after vehicle impact causing death and two counts of causing bodily harm by misconduct.

Mr Omigie was refused bail when he appeared before Parramatta Bail court this morning.

His lawyer Eiad Diyab told the court the accused “had some mechanical problems and his intention was to change lanes to the left and unfortunately has resulted in a pile-up".

He said Mr Omigie, who is originally from Nigeria, was “very distressed” by the crash.

Magistrate George Zdenkowski refused bail on the basis of Mr Omigie allegedly failing to stop and offer assistance after the "horrific crash", and then seeking to evade police.

Emergency services were called to the Church Street off-ramp of the M4 motorway at 5.50am on Thursday in response to reports of a multi-vehicle crash.

Officers from Cumberland Police Area Command arrived to find 11 vehicles stopped at the crash site, and a 36-year-old Francis Shanley deceased after his pick-up was hit by a truck.

Witnesses told officers the driver of another vehicle – reported to be a Toyota Echo – allegedly left the scene before speaking with police.

Following inquiries by officers from the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit, a 53-year-old man was arrested after attending St Mary’s Police Station at 6.15pm last night.

Mr Shanley had been living in Australia for 10 years and was due to get married shortly to his Australian fiancee Broc Nicholson.

His partner paid an emotional tribute to him on Facebook following the crash saying “I love you forever and always.”

In a post, Ms Nicholson wrote: “Most of you have heard the devastating news of our beautiful, strong head, lucky charm Irish boy Francis Shanley has sadly passed away today.

“He will be forever in our hearts and sadly missed.

“I thank you all for your love, support and messages of kind words. Going to be a long road ahead getting back on our feet.”

There will be a mass celebrated for Francis today at St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral in Darwin.

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