Monday 11 December 2017

Baby died after car seat failed in crash

Coroner will track down manufacturer

Georgina O'Halloran

A CORONER has pledged to track down the manufacturers of a baby car seat following a tragic accident which claimed the life of a seven-month-old girl.

Little Hannah McNevin-Best sustained fatal injuries in a road crash when the car seat in which she was travelling failed, an inquest heard yesterday.

The seven-month-old baby was a front-seat passenger in a rear-facing car seat on the night of March 6, 2009, when the car, driven by mother Bernadette McNevin, failed to negotiate a sharp left-hand bend and struck a tree at Ballinphuill, Castlerea, Co Roscommon.


Ms McNevin, who is originally from Ballinagare in Co Roscommon, but has since moved to Dublin, took Hannah from the vehicle and sought help at the home of a nearby man who alerted the emergency services.

Hannah had sustained severe head injuries in the crash and died at Temple Street Children's Hospital, Dublin, on March 8.

The inquest was told that the restraining point at the back of the car seat failed in the impact.

Gardai discovered a piece of the car seat, which secures the safety belt, was missing from the rear of the seat.

The broken piece was found between the seat and the handbrake.

Scene examiner, Gda Ciaran Prior, agreed with Dr Brian Farrell, the coroner, that the logical conclusion was that the piece must have broken off on impact.

Ms McNevin had bought the car seat, which came as part of a buggy, in the Argos store at The Square, Tallaght about a month earlier, the inquest heard.

A spokeswoman for Argos said she was unable to make any comment until she had investigated the matter further.

The jury, which passed a verdict of accidental death, asked the coroner to make representations to the baby seat manufacturer and the RSA on the failure of the seat. Dr Farrell said he planned to track down the manufacturer and would write to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and Roscommon County Council in accordance with the jury's recommendations.

He also commended Hannah's parents as three people have since benefited from their baby's death after they granted consent for organ harvesting.

Ms McNevin said she was "happy" with the recommendations of the coroner's court jury into the death.

Irish Independent

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