Excessive use of handbrake led to crash that killed young mother and daughter

An inquest has heard how a teenage mother and her daughter died in a two vehicle collision when a tyre burst in Letterkenny in Co Donegal in 2008.

Excessive use of the handbrake, including handbrake turns or dohnuts, by driver Christopher Hanlon, contributed to an accident which killed his 16-year-old girlfriend Kerry Anne Meehan and their three-month-old baby daughter Neisha in June 2008.

The three had been in the Toyota car when the tyre blew out and caused it to crash into an oncoming 4×4 at Tullygay in Letterkenny.

Meehan was pronounced dead at the scene whilst the baby later died of her head injuries at Letterkenny Hospital.

The Garda who inspected both vehicles in the crash said the rear tyres of the Toyota were worn in patches as a result of excessive handbrake use .

Christopher Hanlon was sentenced to 240 hours community service last November after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving which caused the death of his girlfriend and baby daughter.