Fatal Roscommon road crash described as 'terrible and tragic accident'

Sep 14, 2021 14:09 By Shannonside News
Fatal Roscommon road crash described as 'terrible and tragic accident' Fatal Roscommon road crash described as 'terrible and tragic accident'
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Mrs. Mary Oates lost her life in the 2019 incident

A crash that claimed the life of a woman in her 60s in Kilmarayl in west Roscommon in June 2019 has been described as a "terrible and tragic" accident.

At Roscommon Coroner's Court, a jury returned a verdict of accidental death into the incident which claimed the life of Mary Oates, Kilvoy, Mantua, on June 6th 2019.

The couple was standing on a grassy verge on a country road when a jeep and trailer being driven by John Francis Kelly, of Ballinagare, Castlerea, came from behind them.


The inquest heard that as the Toyota Landcruiser drove past the couple, the trailer jack-knifed, and swung to its left, fatally injuring Mrs Oates.

A Garda expert estimated that the minimum speed of the vehicle at the time of impact was between 32-39/km/h.

The inquest heard the brakes on the trailer were defective and this, coupled with the wheels losing traction on the grass verge and mossy central median of the road, was a factor in the crash.


Mr Kelly apologised in a statement read at the inquest and said he was truly sorry for the crash.

At Roscommon Circuit Court earlier this year he was handed a one-year jail term, fully suspended, and disqualified from driving for four years after pleading guilty to careless driving causing the death

A verdict of accidental death was returned by the jury, in line with the medical evidence.


Coroner Brian Desmond said that it was a double tragedy, for Mr Oates and Mr Kelly, and that anyone who drives a vehicle with a trailer has duty of care to ensure it is road-worthy and they drive with due care and attention.

Sympathies were expressed to the family of Mrs Oates from the jury, the coroner and Gardai.

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