Friday 20 September 2019

Driver in four-death tragedy faces civil actions

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Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

At least two civil actions look set to proceed against a motorist following a road traffic collision which led to the deaths of four passengers.

Dayna Kearney was earlier this year found not guilty at Naas Circuit Criminal Court of dangerous driving causing death. She was also acquitted of driving a defective vehicle.

However, a number of High Court civil actions initiated in the aftermath of the collision now look set to proceed.

Niamh Doyle, Gemma Nolan and Ashling Middleton, all aged 19, and Chermaine Carroll (20) died almost instantly when the Volkswagen Polo driven by their friend Ms Kearney crashed into an oncoming van at Burtown, Co Kildare, in January 2015.

High Court records reveal an action initiated by a relative of Ms Doyle is set to go ahead.

A notice of intention to proceed was given to the court last week. It follows a similar move by another complainant in August. At least eight actions in which Ms Kearney is named as a defendant were initiated following the tragedy.

However, most of the cases have not progressed to date.

The plaintiffs include relatives of those who died and the passenger of the van Ms Kearney's car collided with.

Ms Kearney, from Crossneen, Co Carlow, was herself seriously injured in the crash.

She and her four friends had been ice skating in Kilkenny and were returning home when the collision occurred.

Last July, a jury took just 27 minutes to deliver unanimous verdicts acquitting her of the charges she faced. The trial heard the car she was driving veered across the road and collided passenger side-on into an oncoming Volkswagen Transporter van.

Irish Independent

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