Crash victim helped three others by donating organs

THREE people were helped after the family of a 25-year-old man killed in a traffic accident donated his organs for transplant operations, an inquest was told yesterday.

David Laffey, from Glentrague, Clonbur, Co Galway, received severe head injuries after a night out with his Galway County Council work colleagues on July 21, 2005.

He was pronounced dead in Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital on July 29, 2005, from the injuries he received when he lost control of his car around a half a mile from his home as he travelled around a bend on the road.

Dublin City Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said: “In the face of this tragedy, they (Mr Laffey’s family) had the courage and public spiritedness to grant permission for organ harvesting. Three other patients have benefited from that brave and magnanimous gesture.”

Mr Laffey’s family said they were only carrying out his wishes.

His brother, Trevor, said: “David had mentioned that he would wish that.”

Redmond Moran, a work colleague of Mr Laffey’s, told the inquest he gave Mr Laffey a lift back to Cornamona, a village near his home, after the night out in a pub on July 21, 2005.

“We told him we would drop him home, he said he would be fine and thanked us for the lift,” he said.

“As far as I was concerned David did not look drunk and was fine.”

Mr Laffey then picked up his car in Cornamona to drive to his home at Clonbur. He was discovered lying on the road, about half a mile from his home, at around 2.30am in an unconscious state with severe head injuries.

Gda Declan Sweeney, Ballinrobe, said Mr Laffey, who was alone in his car at the time, had been thrown from his car upon impact.

The car, which was severely damaged in the single-vehicle collision, was around 15 feet away in a drain by the side of the road.

He said there were tyre marks on the grass verge leading away from the bend, and the vehicle had struck a large rock before coming to rest in the drain.

The coroner said: “He had a few drinks, I don’t know how much he had to drink.” He added his work colleague Mr Moran said he had not appeared drunk.

The jury, which passed a verdict of accidental death, recommended the coroner write to the Traffic Department of Galway County Council for them to consider removing the rock struck by the vehicle from the ditch.

They also requested the council place a road sign on the stretch of road highlighting the bend.

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