Friday 24 November 2017

Father of teenage driver is sued by widower

The scene of the crash on the N24 outside bansha in Co Tipperary. Photo: Press 22
The scene of the crash on the N24 outside bansha in Co Tipperary. Photo: Press 22
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

The husband and father of Mary Enright are suing the father of the teenager who also died in the head-on collision.

Patrick Enright is suing for personal injuries arising from the accident described by a senior gardaí as "one of the worst cases I have ever seen".

His wife Mary (28) was 34 weeks' pregnant when their car was involved in the collision in March 2012 with a car driven by Robert Stoker (17).

Patrick Enright, an accountant, is suing Robert Stoker's father John Stoker in Mr Stoker Snr's capacity as the owner of the car that his son was driving.

He is also suing for damages for the alleged wrongful death of his wife and aggravated damages "on account of the reckless driving of Robert Stoker deceased".

It is claimed that Mr Stoker Snr is vicariously liable in law for the negligence, breach of duty and breach of road traffic laws Mr Enright says was committed by Robert Stoker whose insurance company nominee is also listed as a defendant.

In his action, Mr Enright has listed 10 statutory dependants of Ms Enright including her parents and siblings.

In his legal action against Robert Stoker's father and Robert's insurance policy, Mary Enright's father David Walsh says his eldest daughter and business partner was due to take over his print business in Waterford.

Mr Walsh, who describes himself as "heartbroken", has revealed that he suffers from hypnopompic visual hallucinations where he on occasion sees his late daughter at the end of his bed when he wakes up.

As a result of these distressing hallucinations, he says he sees and speaks to his dead daughter several times a week.


Mary's husband Patrick Enright has also detailed his distress when he has experienced transient hallucinatory episodes where he sees, hears or feels the presence of his late wife "before reality intrudes".

Mr Enright and his father-in- law have both claimed in their civil proceedings that Robert Stoker had consumed excess alcohol and allege that the teenager was 40 times in excess of the minimum legal limit for drink driving at the time of the accident.

However, the jury at last month's inquest into the deaths of Ms Enright and Robert Stoker was told to disregard what one consultant pathologist described as a "clinically spurious" and "impossible" toxicology report in relation to the 17-year-old.

Dr Rob Landers, consultant pathologist at University College Waterford, told the inquest that the findings from Robert Stoker's blood sample was 913 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millimetres of blood.

Dr Landers said it would not be possible to consume that much alcohol.

"Anything over 400 milligrams would lead to death," he told the inquest.

Irish Independent

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