Inquest hears how u-turn led to fatal crash

A man on his way to a family wedding died when he lost his way and made a U-turn that led to a crash with another car, an inquest heard yesterday.

The other car was carrying an elderly couple on their way to see their new-born grandchild. They were hospitalised with injuries.

66-year-old  Paddy Fitzgerald, from Rathkeale, Co. Limerick, and his wife Mary, were on their way to a wedding outside Donegal town when the collision occurred on October 22, 2010.

Mr Fitzgerald died shortly afterwards in an ambulance at the scene on the N15 just south of the Drumlonagher roundabout at Donegal town.

75-year-old Michael McCormack, told the Donegal town inquest how he and his wife were driving from their home near Moville, via Sligo, to Ballivor, Co. Meath, to visit their daughter and a new grandchild.

He had just turned left off the roundabout, heading towards Ballyshannon when a car parked to his left in front of him, “all of a sudden” moved and crossed the road and there was a collision.

79-year-old Margaret McCormack, said they were looking forward to seeing their daughter and the baby that was born three weeks prematurely.

They were taken to Letterkenny General Hospital and discharged the day after the craszh.

Mary Fitzgerald, widow of the dead driver, talked about driving from their Co. Limerick home to a family wedding at Harvey’s Point Hotel outside Donegal town.

They took a third exit off the roundabout and she thought it was not the right road so her husband pulled into the left and he did not see the car coming from behind when he went to turn

Accident investigator Sgt John McFadden said that as Mr Fitzgerald made his U-turn the rain may have obscured his view of the vehicle behind him.

The jury’s verdict was that death was due to multiple internal injuries, including a torn right lung, caused by a road accident.