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Horror crash driver 'didn't know girl (16) had died until day before her funeral'

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Greenhills road crash scene

Greenhills road crash scene

Stacey Masterson

Stacey Masterson

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Greenhills road crash scene

A 16-year-old girl died when the car she was travelling in collided with a bus in torrential rain.

Stacey Masterson was a front-seat passenger in a BMW driven by a 19-year-old when it crashed in heavy rain on July 28, 2013.

Bus driver Simone Campbell told Dublin Coroner's Court she heard skidding before she saw a silver car coming towards her side-on near Lidl on the Greenhills Road in Dublin.

"It was on my side of the road. I had three seconds to think what to do. I put my foot on the brake as hard as I could and I felt the impact," she said. The windscreen smashed, sending glass down upon Ms Campbell.

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Stacey Masterson

Stacey Masterson

Stacey Masterson

"My body swelled up, I thought my legs were broken," she said.

Passenger James Going, seated on the front seat in the top deck said he saw the car "aquaplaning" towards the bus. "I heard a horrible bang that was more like a train crash," he said.

Driver Keith Maloney, who was 19 at the time and a provisional driver, said he sold the BMW to a friend about six weeks beforehand. On the day, he told Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane that he borrowed the car to collect Miss Masterson from Bluebell because his own car was blocked in.

He recalled "torrential rain" before he got into trouble. "I had my foot on the brake, I couldn't stop the car, it was sliding sideways. I lost vision. I remember water coming up over the bonnet," Mr Maloney said.

"I don't remember anything else until I woke up in hospital. I didn't know Stacey had died until the day before she was buried," he said.

Traumatic

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Greenhills road crash scene

Greenhills road crash scene

Greenhills road crash scene

Miss Masterson - from La Touche Road, Bluebell, Dublin 12 - was pronounced dead at Tallaght Hospital by Dr Sinead Ni Bhraoin.

She died of traumatic head injuries due to the collision with multiple traumatic injuries contributing.

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Forensic crash investigator Sergeant Paul Carney noted the weather, the rear-wheel drive and the relative inexperience of the driver, but said he was unable to determine how fast the car was travelling before the crash.

He said the driver may have attempted to correct the car as it began to spin and then lost control. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.


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