Wednesday 7 December 2016

Husband tells inquest of how coastal drive with wife of 50 years turned to tragedy following collision

Louise Roseingrave

Published 08/10/2015 | 12:49

The Dublin Coroners Court, Store St. Pic Tom Burke.
The Dublin Coroners Court, Store St. Pic Tom Burke.

A COASTAL drive turned to tragedy for an elderly couple involved in a fatal collision after the driver suffered a ‘black out.’

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Norman (80) and Jean (81) Hannagan were married more than fifty years and ‘barely spent a day apart,’ Dublin Coroner’s Court heard

The couple, from Glencarrig, Sutton, Dublin 13 were out for a drive on ‘a beautiful sunny day’ when Mr Hannagan lost control of the car, which drifted to the wrong side of the road near the White Sands Hotel, Coast Road, Portmarnock on August 11 2014.

The accident happened when the Hannagan's Nissan collided with an oncoming VW Polo around 3pm.

Jean Hannagan was rushed to Beaumont Hospital but died on the operating table less than an hour later.

Norman Hannagan was treated for cracked ribs. He had a full driving licence but had no recollection of the impact.

“I remember it was a beautiful warm day. There was nothing unusual about the drive. The next thing I remember is being trapped in my car. I spoke to Jean and she said she couldn’t move. I remember seeing another car stuck into the front of my car,” he said in his deposition.

Sgt Noel Smith of Malahide Garda Station said road conditions were good and there was no evidence of speeding.

Mr Hanngan was being treated for heart disease and had undergone a quadruple bypass in 2006. His cardiologist was of the opinion Mr Hannagan suffered a cardiac arrhythymia (blackout) when the accident happened, Sgt Smith told Coroner Dr Brian Farrell.

Jean Hannagan died of multiple rib fractures and a laceration to the liver, sustained in a road accident, according to Prof Patrick Roe, Consultant General Surgeon at Beaumont Hospital.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

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