Meaghan Miller
Meaghan Miller

Friends of a UCD student killed in a car crash in Canada say they are “still in shock” over her death.

Meaghan Miller from Malahide was on a work placement programme when she died in the crash near Maidstone, Saskatchewan, last Wednesday, July 18.

The 21-year-old animal science student was in Canada to work with horses on a farm as part of her degree.

Colleagues at Kilronan Equestrian Centre in Swords, where she worked, said: “We are still in shock. At this incredibly difficult time, we send love, hugs and strength to the family.”

Meaghan, a former pupil of Malahide Community School, was the only occupant of the car which was reportedly found flipped over onto its roof on a highway.

Her body was recovered by emergency services, who rushed to the scene of the accident at around 10.30am local time. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating the accident.

When details of the tragedy reached Ireland earlier this week, UCD confirmed news of the popular third-year student’s death in an email to her peers.

Dean of Agriculture Alex Evans wrote: “Meaghan’s death is a great sorrow for all in our school and the wider UCD community. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to her family and friends.”

Equine enthusiast Meaghan took up horse riding at the Kilronan centre when she was six years old and began working there at weekends six years ago, aged 15.

In a statement, staff at the centre revealed: “A few hours after hearing about the passing of Meaghan, everyone that knew her in Kilronan began to gather.

“We sat around the picnic benches outside the gallery where we had spent the summers together as a group of helpers. We reminisced on the good times, we talked and listened.

“We are a tight-knit community and in times of need we are always there for one another. It is a blessing to have so many amazing people in and out of Kilronan.

“We will always think of you, and you will always have a special place in our heart. Sleep tight, Meaghan.”

Local Fianna Fail TD Darragh O’Brien said the tragic death had shocked the community and he extended his sympathies to Meaghan’s family.

He told Dublin Gazette: “It’s awful to think something like this could happen. That a young person with their whole life ahead of them would head off for the summer break from college and then this. It doesn’t bear thinking about. It’s just so dreadfully sad.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware of the accident and was providing ongoing consular assistance to the family.