Wednesday 23 October 2019

Mother died in crash on way to see her newborn

Tragedy: Nicola Kenny suffered fatal injuries
Tragedy: Nicola Kenny suffered fatal injuries

Ralph Riegel

A coroner has issued a stark road safety warning that tiredness kills, after hearing harrowing details of the death of a young mother as she travelled to see her sick newborn baby in hospital.

Coroner Paul Morris issued a special plea for commercial vehicle operators to comply with tachograph safety guidelines as he stressed the tragic case of Nicola Kenny (26) underlined the appalling consequences of driver fatigue.

Ms Kenny suffered fatal injuries as she was a back seat passenger in a parked Ford car struck by a Volvo lorry which veered on to the motorway hard shoulder near Cashel, Co Tipperary.

The truck driver claimed he was distracted by a bout of sneezing - but a Circuit Court judge said driver fatigue was a contributing factor.

The young Thurles mother died instantly from multiple injuries.

Her car had just pulled over to allow her take a phone call from Temple Street Children's Hospital to say her baby girl Lily Rose was fine and would be transferred back to Tipperary.

An inquest jury urged drivers to be aware of the consequences of fatigued driving.

"It really does highlight the truth of the Road Safety Authority campaign reflected in signs on the motorways that tiredness kills. If ever there was a case that highlights the truth of that, this is it.

"Drivers in commercial vehicles with tachograph systems should abide by safe driving times and take the appropriate rest periods to avoid fatigue and danger to other road users," Mr Morris said.

Lily Rose was born on September 4, 2016 but was very ill and transferred to Temple Street.

Ms Kenny was travelling to Dublin on September 5 to see her in a car being driven by her aunt and accompanied by her mother.

Armagh lorry driver Ciaran McBride (34) pleaded guilty before Tipperary Circuit Criminal Court last May to careless driving causing death and received an 18-month suspended sentence.

Irish Independent

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