AN inquest in Castlebar on Monday heard that a 68 year-old man, who died after being hit by a jeep driven by his brother in a tragic accident, was deeply missed by all who knew him in Ballyhaunis and further afield.
Michael Waldron (pictured), known as ‘The Minister’, suffered multiple injuries when his brother, Seán drove over him in his jeep shortly after midnight on July 20, 2011. Mr Waldron, a single man from Cave, Ballyhaunis, had fallen on the ground earlier in the evening after he returned home from the pub.
The inquest into his death, which was held yesterday in Castlebar Courthouse, heard that Michael Waldron died in Mayo General Hospital at 6.55am after undergoing emergency surgery. State pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy who performed the postmortem explained that Mr Waldron’s ribs were fractured in the accident and death was due to crush injuries to his chest.
Coroner for south Mayo, John O’Dwyer, said this was a ‘tragic accident’. He described Michael Waldron, who he knew, as ‘a most inoffensive man who would do anything for anyone’ and that he ‘lived for his politics and GAA’, adding that was missed by all who knew him.
The inquest heard that Michael Waldron had gone into Ballyhaunis at approximately 3.45pm to celebrate his 68th birthday. He got a taxi back to his home, which he shared with his brother Seán at 12.05am, and taxi driver Joe Freeley said he went to the back of the house.
Seán Waldron told the inquest that at approximately 10.45pm he went into Ballyhaunis to meet friends who were home from England, leaving for home at 12.25am. As he was driving into his driveway in his jeep when he thought he had hit something and jumped out of his jeep. He realised that it was his brother, who told him he was OK but he was not able to get up.
Seán called for an ambulance, which arrived 20 minutes later and took Michael to Mayo General Hospital. Emergency surgery was performed on Mr Waldron, but it was unsuccessful, and he died at 6.55am.
An investigation into the incident took place and Sgt Gabriel McLoughlin, the PSV inspector said it would have been difficult for Seán Waldron to see his brother because he was negotiating a 90 degree turn and there would have been a ‘blind spot’ from the lights. Professor Cassidy said there was no evidence he was knocked to the ground from an upright position by a vehicle and grazes on his knees suggested that he had collapsed to the ground prior to being run over.
The jury recorded a verdict of accidental death and Mr O’Dwyer extended his sympathy to Mr Waldron’s family and especially to Seán, who he said had to ‘carry the cross’ of what happened on the night.
“The past 12 moths have been a difficult time for all of the Waldron family, and hopefully this will bring some closure. Unfortunately there was nothing Seán could have done to avoid the situation and he has to carry the cross. But I’m sure there is a strong family support, loyalty and protection for him,” he said. Sympathy was also extended from Superintendent Colm Foxe and the jury.
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