Sunday 22 April 2018

Jury calls for 30kph speed limits in housing estates as Jake's legacy

Chris and Roseann Brennan outside Carlow Courthouse. Photo: Pat Moore
Chris and Roseann Brennan outside Carlow Courthouse. Photo: Pat Moore
Jake Brennan

Conor Kane

The jury at an inquest into the death of a six-year-old boy, who was fatally struck by a car outside his home, has recommended the introduction of a mandatory 30kph speed limit in all housing estates.

The call was made after the inquest into the death of Jake Brennan from Kilkenny had heard how he lay dying in his mother's arms moments after being hit by a car in June 2014.

The jury also called for improved signage in housing estates after hearing that emergency services had trouble finding the cul-de-sac where Jake lived. It took the ambulance crew four minutes to drive across Kilkenny city to the estate, but a further three minutes to find his Lintown Grove home.

A garda described the area as "a maze".

Jake died from crush injuries to his chest and abdomen as a result of being struck by a car, the jury decided in accordance with medical evidence.

Deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said the injuries suffered by Jake were "consistent with being run over and dragged by the front bodywork of a vehicle".

Coroner Dr Brendan Doyle is to write to the Department of Transport, notifying it of the riders put on the jury's verdict regarding a lowering of speed limits in housing estates and improved signage.

The inquest heard that after a major garda investigation and a file being sent to the DPP's office, a decision was made by the DPP not to bring any prosecution. The driver of the car, Katarzyna Biala (39), had told gardaí she wasn't speeding and had only seen Jake when her car hit him.

Speaking after the inquest, Jake's mother Roseann Brennan welcomed the jury's recommendation, saying: "We feel our baby didn't die in vain."

She has campaigned for speed limits in housing estates, currently at 50kph, to be reduced to 20kph under "Jake's Law".

Irish Independent

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