Monday 25 September 2017

Girl (12) settles case against parents over fatal car crash

Mary Carberry (36), a chronic alcoholic, had been drinking all day before she crashed the car.
Mary Carberry (36), a chronic alcoholic, had been drinking all day before she crashed the car.
Mr Varden, who owned the car involved in the horrific collision, insisted he did not want Ms Carberry to drive it.
Faith's sister Ava (6) was killed in the 2007 crash.

Tim Healy

A SCHOOLGIRL 's action for damages over a car crash which claimed the life of her sister and friend is now only against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.

Faith Varden Carberry (12) had brought the case against her mother Mary Carberry (36), a chronic alcoholic who had been drinking all day before crashing the car, and her father Thomas Varden, who owned the vehicle.

Faith's sister Ava (6) and her friend Michaela Logan were killed in the 2007 crash and another child was also injured.

Judgment had already been obtained against Ms Carberry who did not contest the case. She was jailed for four years after the crash in another court.

But yesterday the action against Mr Varden was settled after several hours of talks meaning the ongoing case now only involves the Motor Insurer's Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) -- the organisation which compensates the victims of uninsured drivers.

Mr Justice O'Neill adjourned the case for three weeks.

Mr Varden, who owned the car involved in the horrific collision, insisted he did not want Ms Carberry to drive it.

He had never lived with Ms Carberry and had raised concerns about the care of his daughters with social services in the months leading up to the crash, the court heard.

Ms Carberry got so drunk on the day of the crash she "blacked out" and ploughed into a mud embankment on a disused road outside Edgeworthstown, Co Longford.

She was also banned from driving at the time of the collision because of a previous accident.

Faith was in a spinal cast for 10 weeks and suffered severe psychological trauma after her sister was killed. She attended a child psychologist for three months after the crash.

Complained

When Ms Carberry was banned from driving, the children -- who lived with their mother at Clonguish Court, Newtownforbes, Co Longford -- had to walk one-and-a-half miles to school, and they complained to their father about this.

Ms Carberry, Mr Varden said, put the children on the phone to him saying they were cold and wet. "It pulled at my heart strings," he said.

On the night of the crash, he got a phone call from Ms Carberry saying Ava was dead and she thought Faith was dead too.

"She said: 'If I had a gun I would shoot myself'. I said, 'if I had a gun I would do it for you myself'," he said.

"I thought Faith was dying, but she recognised my voice and I was delighted. I did not see Mary Carberry again until Ava's funeral. I was angry. I am still angry.

"No way would I have given the car to her if I thought she was going to use it that way."

Irish Independent

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