Over €68,000 raised to repatriate family killed in motorway crash

Galway Daily news Book of Condolences opened for Kurdish family killed in tragic collision

A fundraiser to repatriate the Kurdish family of three killed in a terrible motorway crash in Galway last week has raised over €68,000.

Couple Karzan Sabah and Shahen Qasm, and their eight month old baby girl Lina were killed in a three car crash on the motorway near Ballinasloe last Thursday evening.

A GoFundMe page was set up by their friend John Carey on Monday, with a goal of raising €40,000 to send them home.

As of the time of writing this, the page has raised a total of €68,645 towards this goal, from more than 2,700 donors.

“We were all left devastated, heartbroken and confused by such a senseless loss,” Carey wrote on the fundraising page.

“Their lives were only just beginning, with Karzan having just submitted his PhD thesis, secured a new job, and of course the unbridled joy of Lina being born. They were so happy. The only small comfort we have is knowing that they are still together.”

“You would not have meet two nicer people, who loved Ireland and touched the lives of those they met. Many of us didn’t get to meet Lina, and she never got to meet her family in Iraq. The shortness of her life is particularly difficult to understand. The least we can do is try and get them home so that they can find some peace.”

“Please give what little you can, and we can try and bring some sense of comfort to those people affected by this awful tragedy. The more we raise, the easier it will be for their families.”

The couple are from Erbil, in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where their families still live.

Karzan and his wife came to Ireland in 2017, when he was getting a PhD in agriculture at NUI Galway. He had just submitted his thesis and gotten a job in Carlow.

On Thursday, August 19, on the M6 motorway at Poolboy, Ballinasloe at 7:40pm, three cars were involved in a collision when driver Jonasz Lach came onto the motorway and drove against traffic.

Lach was the fourth person killed in the crash, and a person in the third vehicle was treated at hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Messages of support have been pouring in from across the community at the loss of the family, who by all accounts love Galway, and were loved in turn.