Sunday 19 November 2017

Dad-of-three (44) killed by street lamp at mum's wake

Patrick 'Pa' Bowens
Patrick 'Pa' Bowens

Louise Roseingrave

A man died after he was thrown in the air while attempting to put up a street lamp to cater for mourners at his mother's wake.

Patrick 'Pa' Bowens (44), from Cloonfad, Ballyhaunis, Co Roscommon, was taking a 20-foot street lamp standing off the back of a trailer when the accident happened.

The father-of-three had gone to another man's house to collect the light and drove it back to his home on a trailer behind a Jeep on October 19, 2015. The man's mother had died the previous day, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

"I met Pa and arranged to erect a street light for his mother's funeral. He picked up the light which was between 18 and 20 foot long with a concrete cube at the bottom. Pa drove the Jeep and I drove behind him in my van," Christopher Swanick said.

In the yard, he said the heavy concrete cube fell to the ground sending the street lamp up in the air as the two men helped to move it off the trailer.

"We were going to position it where we needed the light. We were lifting it off with the aid of a strap. It came to the edge of the trailer and then it stood up in a pincer effect," Mr Swanick said. Mr Bowens was thrown into the air by the momentum of the street lamp. His brother Michael Bowens was in the yard when the accident happened.

"It threw Pa up in the air, he hit the trailer on the way down, he fell lifeless to the ground," Michael Bowens said in his deposition.

Garda Gerard McDonagh of Ballinlough garda station said the family were preparing the yard for people due to arrive for the wake.

Mr Bowens was rushed by air ambulance to Beaumont Hospital but medics found he had suffered an unsurvivable brain injury. Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane returned a verdict of accidental death. The coroner sympathised with the family on the 'terrible series of tragedies' that have befallen them.

Irish Independent

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