herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Baby car seat responsible for Hannah's death

A CORONER has pledged to track down the manufacturer of a baby car seat following an accident which claimed the life of a seven-month-old girl.

Hannah McNevin Best sustained fatal head injuries in a crash when her car seat failed, an inquest heard.

Her devastated mother, Bernadette McNevin, who had moved from Dublin to Ballinagare, Co Roscommon, said she was "happy" with the recommendations of the jury.

Dublin City coroner, Dr Brian Farrell, said he would try to track down the manufacturer and would write to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and Roscommon County Council in accordance with the jury's recommendations.

He commended the parents, Ms McNevin and Darragh Best -- as three people had benefited after they granted consent for the use of little Hannah's organs.

"I'm so sorry to hear what happened. I'm sure this has been a devastating loss. Hopefully out of the recommendations made, something positive may come in the public interest," Dr Farrell said.



BEND

The baby was in a rear-facing car seat in the front seat when her mother crashed on a sharp left-hand bend at Ballinphuill, Castlerea, Co Roscommon on the night of March 6, 2009.

The car hit a tree after it went out of control and crossed to the other side of the road.

Ms McNevin took Hannah out of the car and sought help at the home of a nearby man who called emergency services.

She sustained severe head injuries in the crash and died at Temple Street Children's Hospital two days later.

Gardai discovered a piece of the car seat, which secures the safety belt, was missing from the rear of the seat. The broken piece was found between the seat and the handbrake. Garda Ciaran Prior said the logical conclusion was that the piece must have broken off on impact.

"If the evidence is the seatbelt was secured by putting the belt through that clip, the implication can be clearly drawn it (the clip) failed," he said. He was satisfied the seat had been properly secured by Ms McNevin.

Ms McNevin bought the seat in Argos at The Square, Tallaght The only reference to a brand was the name 'Century'. Argos said they were investigating.

The jury passed a verdict of accidental death.

hnews@herald.ie

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