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'What is she after doing to me?' - dying Delia

A DRIVER dodged gardai and drunkenly drove the wrong way down a motorway before killing herself and another motorist in a head-on collision.

Evidence was given at Dublin Coroner's Court that Helen Gonoude (66) evaded gardai and civilians as she drove in the wrong direction on the M6.

Her vehicle struck another car, killing Ms Delia Flaherty (33) just outside Moate, Co Westmeath on June 28 last year. A previous inquest held in Offaly heard that Ms Gonoude from Killeigh in Offaly, was two and a half times the legal limit at the time.

She was spotted travelling eastbound on the westbound motorway by a council worker who attempted to stop her but she drove around him.

Inquest

Gardai then attempted to block her but she drove around them on the hard shoulder.

The inquest into Ms Flaherty's death heard she had been on her way home from Carraroe to Galway from Dublin. She could not have seen Mrs Gonoude's car coming toward her when she pulled into the fast lane to overtake another vehicle, the court heard.

She was conscious when witnesses came to her aid. Jennifer Vignoles told the court that just before losing consciousness Ms Flaherty opened her eyes wide and said "What is she after doing to me?"

She died three days later as a result of severe head injuries sustained in the crash.

The jury returned a verdict of death by unlawful killing and made a recommendation that all gardai be given full training in creating road blocks.

kdoyle@herald.ie


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