A LETHAL combination of drink and speed led to the deaths of three brothers and their friend in last year, Coroner Brian Mahon told an inquest in Offaly today.
Portarlington residents Lee Bryan(24), Darren Doyle (27), David Doyle(24) and Ryan Doyle(17) all died when their car crashed into a bus on the Tullamore to Portarlington Road in Offaly on Friday, August 10 in 2012.
The young men, who between them have five children, had been enjoying a game of football at a park in Tullamore prior to the accident, according to their friend Sinead Fletcher.
At around 5.10pm the men decided to return to Portarlington and all four left in Mr Bryan’s purple 97KE reg Honda Civic.
Bus driver John Keyes recalled driving along the R420 Portarlington to Tullamore Road on the sunny day. He described seeing the oncoming car swerve over the white line before correcting and almost hitting a ditch shortly before the accident.
As the car approached it again swerved in his direction and collided with the bus. “I did everything I could to avoid it,” he remarked.
Before giving evidence, Pathologist at the Midland Regional Hospital at Tullamore Dr Margaret lynch warned family members that “the evidence is quite upsetting.”
Dr Lynch, who performed the four post mortems on August 11, 2012, outlined the extent of the injuries suffered by each of the four men, and said they were more akin to a plane crash and some of the most horrific she had ever seen.
She also read out toxicology reports which revealed all four had alcohol in their systems at the time of the crash. Lee Bryan, who was identified by Gardaí as the driver, had a blood alcohol reading of 314mgs, she said.
However, there was no evidence given of the four men consuming alcohol before the crash. The inquest found all four men had died as a result of injuries consistent with a road traffic collision.
By Eoghan MacConnell