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Inquest finds accidental death in Belcarra car crash

Coroner John O’Dwyer.
Coroner John O’Dwyer.

Inquest finds accidental death in Belcarra car crash

Anton McNulty


A verdict of accidental death was recorded at the inquest of a 25-year-old father who died when his vehicle went out of control on a bend near Belcarra last November.
Brian Keane of Weatherford, Clogher, a native of Skirdagh, Newport, died on November 9 last shortly after his car overturned after losing control while going around a bend at Lagnakilleen, Belcarra, Castlebar, at approximately 7am.
The inquest into his death, which took place in Castlebar Court House, heard that he was on his way to work in Castlebar when the accident occurred. His wife, Sarah, gave evidence that he left their home at 6.50am, and she gave him a quick kiss before he left.
The couple’s two daughters were aged three and one years old at the time of the accident, and Sarah was pregnant with their third child. The inquest heard she gave birth to a baby boy the week before the inquest and named him Brian.
Garda John Flanagan explained that he was travelling to Castlebar when he noticed a black car in the distance ahead of him at Castlelucus, Ballyglass. He said a short time later he came across the upturned vehicle and got out to investigate.
He found Mr Keane in the middle of the road. He was groaning with his head resting on the door of the vehicle. He told the driver to ‘hang on’ before calling 999 for ambulance and Garda assistance.
As they waited for the ambulance, Dr Ulrich Bartels, who was cycling to work, came upon the scene. He took over CPR but later pronounced him dead.
Sgt Gabriel McLoughlin, a Public Services Vehicle Inspector, conducted an investigation into the crash and found that the steering and braking were in working order. However, he found that two of the tyres’ tread depths were below the legal limit and that the car’s airbags had not been working.
Sgt McLoughlin said the lack of grip available between the tyres and the road caused the vehicle to travel braodside onto an embankment, colliding with a concrete post. He said the car overturned a number of times travelling 50 metres before coming to a rest upside down on the road.
Dr Fadel Bennani, Consultant Pathologist explained the postmortem found he suffered from caused by multiple fractures of the ribs and sternum leading to blood entering the chest cavity and this was the cause of death.
Mr John O’Dwyer, coronor for south Mayo said there was no evidence of speed and there was no alcohol involved, and he described the incident as a tragic accident. The jury recorded a verdict of accidental death and sympathies were extended to Mr Keane’s widow, Sarah, his children and family.

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