A popular nursing home worker who was killed in a single vehicle collision, died from a head injury an inquest into the 26 year old woman’s death heard yesterday (Monday).
The hearing was told Ciaran Brennan who was originally from Ard na Mara in Blackrock, was driving home to Knockbridge from a friend’s house, when the accident happened approximately half way between Dunmahon Cross and Martin’s Cross.
Mairead Thornton from the Marlbog Road in a deposition said that her friend had called for a chat after finishing work in Blackrock Abbey Nursing home around 8pm. She said she was there for about two hours.
Joseph O’Hare who lives at Dunmahon said he had noticed what looked like car headlights in a field near his home around 10.40pm.
He rang 999 after going out to investigate but he not get into the field, to see if there was anyone inside.
The hearing was told another neighbour had heard a loud bang between 10.15 and 10.20pm but did not go out to investigate.
Sgt. James Walsh - a trained PSV Inpsector and Forensic Collision investigator, said he found no defects with the vehicle likely to have contributed to or caused the collision.
He said marks at the scene indicated the Renault Clio hit a bump, turned sharply to the right, collided with the verge, was launched into the air and the roof collided with a tree, pushing it down severely on the driver.
When asked if there were foggy conditions, Sgt. Walsh said while it was foggy elsewhere, he understood there was no fog at the scene.
Pathologist Dr. John Ryan said cause of death was head injury. He said the 26 year old would have been unconscious immediately and death would’ve occurred quickly. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death. Louth County Coroner Ronan Maguire said he wanted to express his heartfelt sympathy to the Brennan family.
He added that he could not imagine a more appropriate case for an accidental verdict than this. He said there was no alcohol in the 26 year old’s system who he said had veered sudden “whether distracted or tired - we don’t know”.
Garda Inspector Martin Beggy extended his sympathy on behalf of An Garda Siochana while Jury foreman John Coggins also expressed his sympathy saying “the deceased was a very popular person and highly respected”.
Garda Dermot Whelan of Blackrock Garda Station said he had been asked by Ciara Brennan’s family to read out a statement expessing their thanks and appreciation to the emergency services and Gardai - particularly Sgt. Ciaran Clancy and to Joseph O’Hare and his wife Sally who found Ciara.