A 21-YEAR-old man died after crashing his car while being pursued by gardai, Dundalk Coroners Court heard last week.
Daniel Connors, Parkside, Portadown, Co. Armagh, died at the Lourdes Hospital, two days after the crash along the old Newry Road on June 16 2010.
The inquest heard that he had been the driver of a vehicle which was travelling 'erratically' and at speed through Dundalk, where it was also involved in a collision with a garda patrol car.
Circumstances surrounding Mr. Connors death were the subject of an investigation by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).
State Pathologist, Dr. Marie Cassidy gave evidence that she had carried out a post mortem on the body of Daniel Connors. She found the cause of death to be severe head, chest and spinal injuries, as a result of involvement in a road traffic accident.
Michael Connors, brother of the deceased, stated that he and Daniel went to the Carrickdale Hotel that day, and had lunch with their family. He and Daniel then went into Dundalk to sell a car. Their mother and sister also followed.
He was a passenger in a Vauxhall Cavalier driven by Daniel. He stated that their car was struck by a light blue Mondeo. There were two men in the Mondeo. Daniel decided to head back out the Newry Road, where they were still being pursued by the Mondeo, said Michael. ' We thought it was other travellers wanting to cause us harm,' he said.
He told the inquest the next thing he remembered was being involved in a car accident, and being taken out of the passenger seat and placed in handcuffs.
He said he had not heard any sirens or seen flashing blue lights on the vehicle that pursued them. He did not know why the gardai would have wanted them to stop.
'I think Dan would have stopped if he knew gardai were trying to stop us.'
The inquest heard from Janine McMahon, an advanced driving instructor, who told of collecting a pupil for a driving lesson on the afternoon on June 16th 2010.
She was directing the young woman along the Newry Road, and asked her to take a right turn on to the Racecourse Road. As they took the turn, there was a loud bang when another car crashed into them. Her car went into a spin.
She recalled thinking the vehicle was a stolen car being chased. But Ms. McMahon said she not hear any sirens.