Father shocked Faye, 2, survived crash

The father of a toddler who escaped virtually unscathed from a car which turned into “a ball of tinfoil” in a horror crash remains shocked his daughter was not killed.

Faye O’Brien, 2, was strapped into a child seat in the rear of the Peugeot hatchback which was struck by a lorry fully laden with grain on a main road in North Cork.

Her 64-year-old grandmother, Margaret Rea, who was driving the car, died in the accident on the N72 Fermoy to Mallow road near the village of Killavullen yesterday week.

Faye’s father, Virgil, said his mother was taking his daughter to see deer at Doneraile Park when the accident occurred that morning.

“I checked it [the car] out afterwards and it was like a ball of tinfoil,” said Mr O’Brien, from Mallow, Co Cork.

He said there was just “one little pocket” at the rear of the car which was not damaged and that was where his daughter was strapped into a MaxiCosi child seat.

“Everything just folded in around the seat. It’s a mystery how her neck wasn’t broken. There was a lot of luck involved but I think the seat was a big player in her survival.”

He said he was still surprised Faye was not killed.

“She’s got two scratches on her face and a bruise on her arm, but nothing major.”

Road Safety Authority spokesman Noel Brett said child seats were extremely important. “Children are so fragile and vulnerable. In a collision a child is thrown around like a rag doll if they are not in a correct car seat.

“I know many children have survived road crashes because they were in a correct car seat.”


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