Gallagher Family to Host Memorial on Wednesday

Father says death certificate shows Peter Gallagher's death an accident

Update 10:30 a.m. Wednesday

As the Gallagher family prepares to say goodbye to their 22-year-old son who died in a crash over the weekend, a detective investigating the incident told them there was no sign alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.

Though results from the toxicology tests will take six to eight weeks, the death certificate for Peter Moran Gallagher Jr., of Wayland Street in Oakton, indicates his death to be an accident, said his father, Peter Gallagher Sr.

Peter Gallagher Jr. died in a single-vehicle crash after his car drifted off Vale Road on Saturday. 

Gallagher Sr. said blunt force trauma to the head, which his son endured after his head hit the passenger side window — the only broken glass — when the passenger-side wheel of his 1999 Mazda Protégé got stuck in the guardrail on Vale Road, proved to be the cause of death. He was not wearing a seat belt.

"[It's] important for people to know you can die at a relatively slow speed as well as on the highway," his father said.

The Gallagher family will host a Life Celebration for Peter from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at St. Mark Catholic Church in Vienna. The church will also host a mass in his honor 11 a.m. Friday.

"People are saying how sad it is that it happened just before Thanksgiving. In a lot of ways, it allows you to use Thanksgiving to celebrate and remember the good things," Gallagher Sr. said. "We're trying to make things as positive as we can."

Peter Gallagher Jr. is survived by his parents, Peter and Dana Gallagher; sister, Maeve Gallagher; grandparents, Hugh and Ilien Causby; and many uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.

Click here to read the full obituary in the Washington Post.

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Ellen Stoupa November 21, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. I heard about the accident on Saurday and have been praying. God bless the Gallagher family.
ilisa Calderon November 21, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Sincere condolences to all the Gallagher family and friends. My heart goes out to you.
Laura Winslow November 21, 2012 at 02:53 PM
We no longer live in the area, but Maeve used to babysit our children occasionally. Our prayers are with your whole family. What a tragic loss!


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