Gardaí hunt driver after hit-and-run

Gardaí have appealed for a hit-and-run van driver to give himself up after he knocked down and killed a 25-year-old Frenchman in Cork City.

The accident happened at 9.30pm on Thursday at George’s Quay. Yesterday morning, gardaí seized a van on the eastern outskirts of the city which they suspect may have been the one involved in the incident.

It was being forensically examined while a number of uniformed gardaí and detectives continued to interview witnesses and watch CCTV footage in the hope of identifying the culprit.

Gardaí said the dead man, Gabriel Jean Legehad, lived in the city centre for a few years and had worked with Apple in Hollyhill.

He was originally from the small Atlantic seaboard town of Olonne Sur-Mer, in the Pays de la Loire region.

Supt Barry McPolin, who is leading the investigation, said gardaí had contacted the French authorities, who had informed the man’s family of his death.

In the meantime, Supt Barry McPolin appealed for the driver of the large white van “to come forward”. Witnesses have told gardaí that the driver was a man, possibly in his 30s or 40s, and he was accompanied by a male passenger.

“We are also appealing for the passenger to contact us,” Supt McPolin said.

The van is believed to have some green, or possibly blue writing on its side. It is understood to be a white Transit-type van which would be around 10 years old, judging by the CCTV footage. The lettering was on the side, slightly above the back wheels.

It is understood the victim was walking across the pedestrian crossing near the former labour exchange on George’s Quay when the van exited Copley St and knocked him down.

The van was driven away from the scene and may have headed onto Sullivan’s Quay.

Some first responders who happened to be in the area at the time rushed to the man’s aid before an ambulance took him to Cork University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy was carried out at CUH yesterday afternoon by Margaret Bolster, the assistant State pathologist.

* Anyone with information should contact Anglesea Street Garda Station on 021 4522000, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.


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