Young driver who’s partner and daughter were killed in crash spared jail

A judge said he could not take revenge on a driver who killed his girlfriend and baby daughter and ordered him to do 240 hours community service.

Christopher Hanlon, now 21, had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of his 16 year old partner and 3 month old daughter in Co Donegal on June 16th, 2008.

Kerry-Ann Meehan and daughter Neisha were killed instantly when the car driven by Hanlon burst a tyre, went out of control and smashed head-on into a jeep coming in the opposite direction.

The dead woman’s mother had asked Judge John O’Hagan to send Hanlon to jail in her victim impact statement.

Letterkenny Circuit Court heard how the back tyres on Christopher Hanlon’s car were bald and a friend had even warned him that he needed to change them.

Hanlon, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, said if he could turn back the clock and change places with his dead partner and baby, he would.

Letterkenny Circuit Court heard how on the evening of June 16th, 2008, Hanlon and girlfriend Kerry-Ann and baby daughter Neisha were travelling back to their flat in Doochary having been at Letterkenny General Hospital to get routine injections for their child.

However while travelling through Tullygay, the car suffered a blow-out and went out of control.

Hanlon narrowly missed two young boys walking along the road but then veered head on into an oncoming Jeep carrying a trailer-load of sheep.

Ms Meehan and her young daughter were killed instantly in the crash.

Hanlon, who only had the car a month, also suffered serious injuries and went into a coma for eight days and missed the funerals of both his partner and his baby daughter.

The dead woman’s grieving mother, Mrs.Ann Meehan, said she missed her daughter and her only grandchild every single day and wanted Hanlon to go to jail.

However Judge O’Hagan said he thought this was a very special case and that Hanlon was not one of Donegal’s boy-racers.

He substituted any jail sentence for Hanlon on he serve 240 hours community service.