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Pensioner died as ambulance tried to miss fox


File pic of an ambulance waiting to be received at a hospital

File pic of an ambulance waiting to be received at a hospital

File pic of an ambulance waiting to be received at a hospital

A 92-year-old woman suffered fatal injuries when an ambulance taking her to hospital crashed and overturned.

Bridget Kelly died from a severe brain haemorrhage resulting from the accident at the Headford Road on the outskirts of Galway city on November 8, 2012.

Mrs Kelly was a long-term resident at St Brendan's Nursing Home in Mulranny, Westport, Co Mayo.


Her inquest in Galway yesterday heard that she was being taken by private ambulance to Galway University Hospital for a routine procedure when the accident happened.

Ambulance driver Grzegaiz Kolek said that he was driving at about 75kph as the ambulance approached Galway city.

A fox ran out on to the road and he got a fright.

The vehicle swerved slightly, mounted the kerb, hit a road sign and then a pole, before slowly toppling over.

He asked fellow paramedic Brendan Higgins if he and the patient he was alongside in the rear of the ambulance were okay. Mr Higgins said he was alright and he thought the patient was also alright.

An ambulance and gardai arrived shortly afterwards.

Garda Noelle Barrett said Mr Kolek was breathalysed and passed. His mobile phone was checked to see if he was using it at the time of the accident, but there were no calls or texts recorded.

West Galway Coroner Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin heard that the ambulance was examined and was found to be in a serviceable condition.

Mrs Kelly was taken to Galway University Hospital where her condition deteriorated and she passed away on November 10.

Pathologist, Dr Birgit Tietz said she concluded that Mrs Kelly had died as a result of a severe brain haemorrhage sustained in the road traffic accident.


Expressing sympathy to her son, friends and other residents at St Brendan's Nursing Home in Mulranny, Dr MacLoughlin described her death as very tragic and unexpected.

It must have come as a terrible shock to all who knew her and to the driver of the ambulance and his colleague, Dr MacLoughlin said.

The inquest jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.