Call for probe into road where mother and daughter died

A JURY foreman yesterday called on the National Roads Authority (NRA) to study a stretch of the main Cork/Killarney road on which a senior Cork County Council official and her small daughter died.

Mary Lougheed, 39, of 13 Upper Beaumont Drive, Blackrock, Cork, and her four-year-old daughter, Caoimhe, lost their lives when their Ford Fiesta collided with another vehicle near the entrance to Kennedy’s pet farm at Brewsterfield, Killarney, on March 31.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster said Mrs Lougheed died of multiple injuries suffered in the accident while Caoimhe died of head and neck injuries.

Stuart Keel, of Caherkeengane, Clondrohid, Co Cork, said he was driving his Land Rover at about 55mph in the Cork direction, on the occasion.

A Renault car coming from the opposite direction was stopped on the road waiting for other traffic to pass. The indicator was flashing an intended right turn into the pet farm.

Mr Keel said he then saw the Fiesta, coming from the Cork side, attempt to make an urgent manoeuvre to pass the Renault on the left side.

He said the driver of the Fiesta appeared to lose control of the car, which began to swerve. It crossed the road broadside and across his path.

Mr Keel, visibly upset when giving evidence, said he was on his correct side at all times and could not avoid the accident. Martin O Riordain, Coolea, Co Cork, who was driving the stationery vehicle which intended to turn into the pet farm, said the Fiesta did not appear to be travelling too fast. After passing him on the left side, it swerved across the road and he was hoping it would get across the road before colliding with the jeep.

Garda John O’Mahony of Barraduff, Killarney, said the accident occurred on a straight stretch of road. It was a dry evening and the road surface was in a good condition.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence and jury foreman, Christy McSweeney, asked that the NRA be asked to take another look at the stretch where the crash occurred.

Mr McSweeney, Coroner Dr Denis O’Donovan, Garda Superintendent Pat Sullivan and the Keel family extended sympathy to Des Lougheed and his family.

Mr Lougheed said his late wife had 22 years driving experience.

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