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Ireland'Senseless and devastating' - tributes paid by families of Irishman and wife killed in New York by suspected drink driver

13:00  31 may  2019
13:00  31 may  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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0 Comments ' Senseless and devastating ' - tributes paid by families of Irishman and wife killed in New York by suspected drink driver . Independent.ie Email "JohnJohn graduated from Coláiste Mhuire, Tourmakeady, Ireland in 2004 and later attended Limerick Institute of Technology

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'Senseless and devastating' - tributes paid by families of Irishman and wife killed in New York by suspected drink driver Killed: John Heneghan (33), from Co Mayo, and Caitlyn Holtzman (32) on their wedding day The grieving families of an Irishman and his American wife who lost their lives after their car was struck by an alleged drunk driver have said their deaths are 'senseless and devastating'.

John John Heneghan (33), originally from Tourmakeady, Co Mayo,  and his wife Caitlin J. Holtzman (32), originally from Pennsylvania, were killed as they drove to a wedding in Upstate New York last week.

The couple were travelling with three other people and were parked at a traffic junction when their car was struck by a vehicle driven by Dickie Winn (58).

Irishman and his wife die in New York after suspected drink-driver rams car

Irishman and his wife die in New York after suspected drink-driver rams car An Irishman and his wife were killed when their car was rammed by an alleged drunk-driver in New York State. A 58-year-old man has been charged with vehicular homicide over the deaths of John John Heneghan (33) and Caitlyn Holtzman (32). Three other people in the couple's car were seriously injured. They had stopped at a traffic light when another vehicle, approaching from the other side of the road, left its lane and ran into them. The tragedy happened on Saturday afternoon in the town of Clifton Park, around 30km north of Albany, New York. Mr Heneghan was originally from Tourmakeady in Co Mayo, but had been living and working in the New York area. His wife was a US citizen.

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John Heneghan was originally from Mayo but was living in New York .

Mr Heneghan and Ms Holtzman died at the scene. The other three passengers - two Irishmen and an American woman - were seriously injured in the incident which occurred Clifton Park, close to the city of Albany in Upstate New York.

The couple - who were married in Co Mayo four years ago - were living and working in New York City.

'Senseless and devastating' - tributes paid by families of Irishman and wife killed in New York by suspected drink driver © Catalyst Images New York City

An obituary to the couple was posted overnight, with their families asking that people make donations in their name to Mothers Against Drink Driving (MADD) in lieu of flowrs.

“The deaths of these two wonderful young people are senseless and devastating,” the obituary said, adding they were "beloved by family and friends around the globe".

"Both the Heneghan and Holtzman families are requesting that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a contribution, please make a donation in there names to MADD," the obituary reads.

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"Donations will be used to combat drunk driving," it added.

'Senseless and devastating' - tributes paid by families of Irishman and wife killed in New York by suspected drink driver © Catalyst Images New York City

The obituary said the couple's lives will be celebrated during a service at 1pm on June 8th at the Derry Presbyterian Church in Hershey Pennsylvania. Following the memorial in the US, a Funeral Mass/Memorial Service will be held in John John's native Tourmakeady. Arrangements for this mass will be announced at a later date.

"John John graduated from Coláiste Mhuire, Tourmakeady, Ireland in 2004 and later attended Limerick Institute of Technology. His early career involved international opportunities finally to include the US. After coming to America, his construction career spanned working for several firms in the Manhattan area. JohnJohn was currently a Project Supervisor for AECOM Tishman in New York," the obituary said.

He is the son of Thomas and the late Mona Heneghan, also from Tourmakeady, and is survived by his father Tom, brother, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

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Mrs Holtzman was born in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania and was the daughter of Donald and Claudia Holtzman.

"Caitlin graduated from Lower Dauphin High School, Hummelstown, PA in 2005.  She attended The Pennsylvania State University and graduated in 2009 with bachelor degrees in Business and Communications.  She earned her master’s degree in communications from Northwestern University in 2011.  Caitlin owned her own media company, Mediablage. Throughout her brief career, Caitlin worked with clients from around the world," the obituary said.

She is survived by her parents and her grandmother, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

The couple met while Mr Heneghan was working in the US and married in Ireland in 2015.

Donations can be made here.

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