‘Jake said: Mammy, I don’t want to die’

A mother who lost her six-year-old son after he was hit by a car told how her little boy said, in the moments after the accident: "Mammy, I don’t want to die."

Jake Brennan lost his life on Thursday night after being struck by a car while he was playing outside his house in a cul de sac in the Lintown Hall estate on the edge of Kilkenny City.

His mother, Roseann, said yesterday that Jake had been conscious for a few seconds after he was hit by the car at about 6.30pm, but had suffered catastrophic internal injuries, and was pronounced dead in St Luke’s Hospital.

She was standing at her front door in Linton Grove with 4-month-old daughter Savannah, in her arms, while husband Christopher was fetching a lawnmower for the garden, when the tragedy unfolded.

The couple have another child, Kaelem, 3.

“He got flung up in the air and down again,” Roseann said. “But he jumped up and ran to me. The neighbours will tell you. I think he thought he was in trouble but I told him he wasn’t in trouble at all. Then he kind of fell down. I had the baby in my other hand. I held him and he said to me: ‘Mammy, I don’t want to die.’ I knew he was going. He was gasping for air. He started spitting blood.”

An ambulance arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and the paramedics worked on Jake for some time before taking him to hospital. “They said he had so many injuries he wouldn’t have lived,” Roseann said. “He was bleeding inside.”

An autopsy was performed on Jake’s body yesterday by Michael Curtis, the assistant State pathologist, at Waterford Regional Hospital.

The road, near the Newpark area of the city, was closed while Garda technical experts carried out a forensic examination.

The driver of the car, a woman in her 40s who lives locally, was uninjured. She had reversed from her parking space and was in the process of leaving the cul de sac when the accident occurred. Gardaí say she had driven a maximum of about 35m when her car struck Jake.

Roseann described her son as a lovely child who adored singing, dancing, and playing on his skateboard. He was due to take part in a show with a dance group on the night he died.

“I had my tickets to go,” she said. “We were all in the garden. Anyone knows, my kids are not out much. I was standing at the door with the baby in my arms. He [Jake] said, can he play for another few minutes. I said, ‘Yes and we’d get ready [for the show] in a minute’. He probably did step out, which he never usually would. It happened so quick. He flew up in the air and went underneath [the car].”

She added: “Everyone loved him. He could buy and sell you.”

The family are in shock following their loss. “We just can’t believe it. I can’t live here ever again,” Roseann said.

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