Woman tells court she thought she and her children would die in 2008 crash

A young mother has told a court how she thought she and her two children were going to die after their car caught fire after a head-on collision.

Sonia Nic Gairbheith was driving to her grandparents home when she was struck by a car driven by William Barr, which veered across the road into her path.

As a result of the accident Mr Barr’s 83 year old wife Maggie died and Mrs Nic Gairbheith’s daughter Noirin, 4, was left in a wheelchair after her spinal chord was severed.

Mr Barr has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing serious injury on May 27th, 2008.

The court heard how Mr Barr veered over to the wrong side of the road as he was travelling out of the village of Dunlewey.

His Volkswagen Jetta hit Mrs Nic Gairbheith’s Mazda car causing it to go backwards into a ditch.

Mr Barr of Hall Road, Middletown, Derrybeg, revealed how he was driving from Letterkenny around 4.30pm after attending a number of appointments.

He said he remembers driving through Dunlewey, and the next thing he remembers was waking up in hospital.

Garda technical experts Sgt John McDaid and Sgt Frank Lavin both attended the scene of the accident and both gave evidence to the court.

They both revealed how there was no brakemarks on the road from Mr Barr’s car and that the 07 Volkswagen Jetta was in good mechanical order and had no defects.

Immediately after the crash a number of passers-by managed to take Mrs Nic Gairbheith and her two children Noirin, 4, and Aodan, 2, out of the car before it completely burst into flames.