herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Driver (91) left crash scene, say witnesses

A 91-YEAR-OLD woman who hit a pedestrian with her car, leading to the victim's death, did not remain at the accident scene, an inquest has heard.

Bank of Ireland official Gemma Crotty (50) died in the intensive care unit of the Mater Hospital over seven months after the collision.

Dorothy Peart (91) of Richmond Hill, Monkstown, was later accused of dangerous driving causing death and leaving the scene of an accident.

However, the charges against her were eventually dropped as she was deemed unfit to plead.



Stumbled

An inquest heard from witnesses who said the vehicle they saw strike the woman did not stay at the scene.

Two witnesses who were on the Monkstown Road in south Dublin when the accident happened said Ms Crotty, who was an epileptic, was lying on the road when she was hit.

But another witness told Dr Brian Farrell at the Dublin City Coroner's Court that she saw the victim being struck just as she stumbled onto the road.

The crash happened at about 5.45pm on January 8, 2009.

Paramedics rushed Ms Crotty to the nearby St Vincent's Hospital but she was subsequently transferred to the Mater where she died on August 24.

Ms Crotty, of The Alders in Monkstown Valley, worked for Bank of Ireland.

Dr Linda Feeley, who carried out the autopsy, said she was left quadriplegic by severe neck injuries from the accident.

The cause of death was given as pneumonia complicated by the injuries sustained seven and a half months previously.

One witness, who was driving on the opposite side, told the inquest she saw a lady stumble and fall, before being hit by an oncoming car. She did not think the driver had time to react.

Another member of the public told the inquest he heard a thud and looked over to see a woman lying on the road.

He saw her attempt to get up but a car then hit her.

A third witness said she saw a woman lying in the middle of the road.

Garda Jane Ryan told the court that gardai used CCTV footage to confirm the make and year of the car.

The registered owner of the vehicle admitted to driving the car on the day of the collision and gardai found blood on the wheel, which matched a DNA sample taken from Ms Crotty.

Charges were pressed, but after medical tests it was decided Peart was not fit to plead.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said that the absence of evidence from the driver of the car had left a difficult gap in the evidence before the court. The jury returned a narrative verdict.

comurphy@herald.ie

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