Monday 16 July 2018

Jury selection in trial of student charged with causing death of four friends by dangerous driving underway

Dayna Kearney
Dayna Kearney

Andrew Phelan

A young woman is to go on trial today accused of dangerous driving causing the deaths of her four friends in a road crash.

Dayna Kearney (22), a student who was driving a car involved in a fatal crash in Kildare, is pleading not guilty to the charge. A jury for her trial is being empanelled at Kildare Circuit Court in Naas.

Ms Kearney, of Crossneen, Carlow, was seriously injured when the VW Polo she was driving collided with a van on the N78 Athy Link Road at Burtown, near Athy, on January 6, 2015.

Nineteen year olds Aisling Middleton, from Athy, and Gemma Nolan, from Carlow, were killed instantly. Chermaine Carroll (20) and Niamh Doyle (19), from Carlow, also died in the crash. The five women were travelling home together at the time.

The car Ms Kearney was driving ended up off the road from the impact of the crash. Ms Kearney is charged with dangerous driving causing death and driving a dangerously defective vehicle.

Ms Kearney, dressed in a black dress and leggings, came forward in court this morning when her name was called and the charges were read out to her. She stood holding her hands in front of her.

“Not guilty”, she replied to the charges.

A list of the witnesses was read out by Dan Boland BL, prosecuting, which will include a bus driver, a paramedic and gardai. He told the jury panel that four young ladies were “unfortunatley killed” in the road accident and read out their names.

Judge Eoin Garavan advised the jury panel that the trial could last into next week.

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