Coroner appeals for witnesses to fatal crash involving SUV

A CORONER has appealed to anyone with information about an off-road crash involving a stolen SUV, in which a teenager was fatally injured, to come forward and assist gardaí with their investigation.

John Paul Black, known as Paul by his family, of Eastwood, Finglas, Dublin 11, was an occupant of a stolen Mitsubishi Pajero that went out of control at Dunsink tip head near Finglas and plunged into a sunken gully on September 10, 2009.

There was no evidence the 15-year-old was driving the vehicle, Dublin City Coroner’s Court heard.

His mother Janette Black testified that she had just returned home from work when she received a call from a friend of Paul’s, screaming that he was unconscious in The Field which was five minutes away from the teenager’s home.

Gardaí investigating the fatal incident were unable to establish the identity of the driver or to establish whether there were any other occupants in the vehicle.

There were a large number of youths at the scene who refused to give their details to gardaí and fled after the 15-year-old had been removed to hospital, Dublin City Coroner’s Court heard.

“We don’t have any witnesses who can tell the story of exactly what happened,” Garda Graham Dillon told coroner Dr Brian Farrell.

Nobody would give a statement in relation to what happened, the inquest heard.

The Black family were given the name of a youth who allegedly told Paul’s brother he was driving the vehicle, the inquest heard.

Inspector Jerry Bergin of Blanchardstown Garda Station said there were no grounds which allowed gardaí to make an arrest.

The teenager was taken to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead soon after arrival.

He died of head injuries. A postmortem screening detected a small amount of cannabis in his system.

Paul was not involved in the unauthorised taking of the 4x4 from a driveway in Blanchardstown in the early hours of the morning and was at home at the time.

If any further information comes forward, the investigation will be reactivated, the inquest heard.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell called on “anyone who has further information to come forward and assist the gardaí in their investigation”.

The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure under the direction of the coroner and called for a review of the perimeter of the Dunsink tip area, public access to which is already blocked off, with a view to preventing vehicular access to the site.

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