Wellington Car Crash Claims Lives of Two Young Equestrian Talents, Leaves Third Paralyzed

Elaine O’Hallaron. Photo courtesy of The Book LLC.

Elaine O’Halloran was fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams grooming for show jumper David Blake in Wellington, Florida. The young Irish talent was getting hands-on experience and enjoying her twenties alongside two other young up-and-comers, Dana McWilliams and Christian Kennedy, when tragedy struck.

According to the Sun Sentinel, On Thanksgiving weekend, Dana was driving herself, Christian, and Elaine in Wellington when she lost control of her 2013 Camaro on South Shore Boulevard, hitting several trees at a high rate of speed. Tragically, both Dana and Christian were pronounced dead on the scene. Elaine, who had been in the backseat of the vehicle, had miraculously survived, but was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach in critical condition.

Christian was a young dressage talent and had hopes of one day riding in the Olympics. Dana had just moved to Wellington earlier in the fall with similar ambitions, and was working for show jumper Maarten Huygens of Belgium.

Christian Kennedy. Image courtesy of his GoFundMe page.

Dana McWilliams. Photo courtesy of her GoFundMe page.

Elaine has since spent many hours in surgery reconstructing parts of her spinal cord. While the surgeries have been successful, she is currently paralyzed from the waist down — a condition which may prove to be permanent.

According to a fundraising page established by David Blake and his fiance (and fellow FEI rider) Amanda Derbyshire, “Elaine will need to undergo extensive rehabilition therapy for the foreseeable future. Due to her diagnosis she will have to remain in the local area to receive this treatment. Elaine did not have medical insurance to cover this catastrophic event.”

Spinal reconstruction and months of rehabilitation have astronomical price tags, and Elaine needs the horse community by her side more than ever. David and Amanda donated the first ten thousand dollars, and at the time of publication, more than $100,000 had been raised. You can help with Elaine’s expenses and give her support and hope for the future by donating here.

Donors so far have included Cian O’Connor, Bull Run Farm, and the Bellisimo family, along with hundreds of others.

There are also funding pages for the funeral expenses for Dana and Christian:

Fundraiser for the family of Dana McWilliams

Fundraiser for the family of Christian Kennedy

We are sending love and comfort to Elaine and to the loved ones of Dana and Christian amidst this unspeakable tragedy.