| 9.2°C Dublin

Tragic Conor (4) was in lorry driver's blind spot when killed on his bike

A four-year-old boy who died when his bicycle was struck by an HGV lorry was in the driver's blind spot at the time, a coroner's court has been told.

Conor McDaid could not be seen by his neighbour, who was driving the lorry in Townley Manor housing estate in Tullyallen, Co Louth on August 16, 2011.

Drogheda Coroner's Court heard how a tachograph reading showed Patrick Crowcock was driving at less than 10kph at the time of the accident.

Mr Crowcock was on his way home from work in the Scania lorry with his son Ben.


The truck was full of eggs because he planned to start delivering at 3am the following morning.

A parked car on one side of the road meant that he slowed to less than 10kph and he was watching children, who were playing on a green space, in both of his mirrors.

In his statement to the inquest, he said he heard a sound and stopped the vehicle. When he got out, he saw the boy and his bike.

A man was shouting for an ambulance and he saw Conor's mother and lots of other people running towards them.

Gardai gave evidence that Mr Crowcock was breathalysed at the scene and he had an alcohol reading of zero.

Another local resident said he had watched the van driving "cautiously" and that it "slowed down before the corner".

Sgt Seamus Walsh, who carried out a detailed examination of the scene said the tachograph reading showed the vehicle was doing less than 10kph at the time of the accident.

He also told the inquest that housing estates were "not suitable for HGVs because the dimensions". Sgt Walsh confirmed that the little boy and his bike had been in the driver's blind spot.

The four-year-old's mother Mary McDaid, through her solicitor Paddy Goodwin, said the family wanted to thank everyone involved, especially Garda Ursula Clarke.

"This was truly a tragedy for everyone concerned," added Mr Goodwin.

Returning a verdict of death as the result of a road traffic accident, the coroner said it had been an "appalling, tragic" case. "It is beyond comprehension to lose someone so young", he told Conor's family.