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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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