Thursday 19 July 2018

Family of boy (12) killed in sulky accident want new laws

Sean Doyle was killed when he was thrown from a sulky car
Sean Doyle was killed when he was thrown from a sulky car

Louise Roseingrave

The family of a 12-year-old boy killed in an accident involving a sulky car on a public road say they hope new regulations can prevent further loss of life.

Sean Doyle sustained catastrophic injuries after he was thrown from the horse-drawn sulky carriage and under an oncoming truck. He was one of three passengers on the sulky when the accident happened at St Cuthbert's Road, Clondalkin, Dublin, on February 26, 2016.

The jury at the inquest into Sean's death recommended the introduction of by-laws specifically relating to the regulation and safety considerations of using sulky cars on public roads.

"I just hope no other child is lost in these circumstances," said Sean's mother, Stacey Doyle.

"Sean was an amazing boy. He was the heart of our family, we miss him so much. He was full of life and fun and divilment and everyone loved him," his grandmother Mary Doyle said.

Sean's best friend, who was 10, had received a sulky for his horse Rambo as a Christmas gift. The boy's mother said her son was allowed to drive it around the yard but not on the road.

"They were best friends. They were both mad into the horses," she said.

The friend was holding the reins when the horse bolted across St Cuthbert's Road and the sulky car collided with an oncoming truck.

The tubular steel shaft connecting the cart to the horse's harness snapped and Sean was thrown beneath the lorry.

Truck driver John Pouch, a local authority worker, said there was nothing he could have done to avoid the collision. "The horse just shot across the road and hit the truck behind the cab," he said. The truck was travelling well below the 50kmh speed limit, the inquest heard.

PSV Inspector Garda David O'Brien described the sulky as a man-made cart with no seat belts or side-guards.

"It's not a vehicle that should be used on a public highway," Gda O'Brien said.

Sean, from Melrose Avenue, Clondalkin, was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was severe head injuries.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Irish Independent

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