Tuesday 19 September 2017

Gardaí did not attend scene of collision which brought about death of pensioner as 'no vehicles available'

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Lousie Roseingrave

Gardai did not attend the scene of a collision that brought about the death of a pensioner because there were no garda cars available, an inquest heard.

Evelyn Buckley (81) from Glasnevin Avenue, Dublin 11 was visiting her aunt in Beaumont, north Dublin on September 6 2015 when the car she was driving collided with another vehicle around 2pm.

Mrs Buckley initially refused to go to hospital because she didn’t want to ‘cause a fuss.’ She died in hospital around 12 hours after the accident, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

Garda Phillip Murphy attended the scene of the collision in Beaumont Woods at 4.30pm.

“There weren’t enough vehicles to go to the scene. This would have been a minor traffic collision involving minor injuries. It would have been lower priority,” Garda Murphy said.

No forensic collision examination was conducted and Mrs Buckley’s car was moved to her son’s house.

Paramedics assessed the woman at the scene and found her fully articulate.

“She said she was fine and did not want us to be fussing over her,” Dublin Fire Brigade member Gerard Wood said.

“She refused to go to hospital, she didn’t want to be bothering people,” Mr Wood said. Attempts were made to persuade Mrs Buckley to go to hospital but she resisted and sat in a chair provided by a neighbour instead.

The driver of the other car, Sinead Reynolds said Mrs Buckley was driving directly towards her and she stopped in anticipation of the impact. The two vehicles collided in a head-on impact and both airbags deployed. Ms Reynolds suffered a cut to her hand and was treated in hospital.

Described as healthy and independent, Mrs Buckley had suffered a fall around two weeks previously, the court heard.

When her son Conor Buckley arrived at the scene, she agreed to go with him to the emergency department.

However, her condition deteriorated in hospital and she died the following day at 2.45am.

Pathologist Dr Ann Marie O’Shea gave the cause of death as a bruise injury to the brain with a collection of blood in the brain tissue and brain swelling. She was taking blood thinning medication that potentially made her more susceptible to bleeding, the inquest heard.

A file was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions but no prosecution was directed, Gda Murphy said.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

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