Jury at woman's inquest recommends new testing system for Luas body catcher mechanism

The family of a woman who died following a collision with a Luas tram say they will carry her in their hearts forever.

Jury at woman's inquest recommends new testing system for Luas body catcher mechanism

The family of a woman who died following a collision with a Luas tram say they will carry her in their hearts forever.

Mother of two Catriona Cahill from St Anthony’s Road in Dublin sustained catastrophic injuries after she was struck by a tram on the Red Line between the Fatima and St James’s stops on July 8, 2017. She was the eldest of five siblings and is remembered by her sisters Patricia and Teresa and brothers Robert and Patrick.

“We are devastated by the loss of Caitriona and the circumstances that lead to her death,” Robert Cahill said, speaking after an inquest at Dublin Coroner’s Court.

"We will always carry her in our thoughts and prayers and in our hearts."

The incident took place shortly after midnight and involved the last inbound tram service.

The woman was lying on the track and was not moving when she was struck, 80m west of the Fatima stop.

The tram driver described entering ‘a wall of blackness’ after leaving the station and said he did not see the woman until it was too late.

“I looked out the front window and just for a split second I saw something on the track,” he said.

“There was nothing I could do,” Maurice Cronin said.

"I hoped it wasn’t someone. You’re just praying it’s not somebody."

Ms Cahill died due to multiple traumatic injuries consistent with a collision with a Luas tram, according to an autopsy. She had alcohol and the anti-depressant setalopram in her system but levels are unknown.

A resumed inquest into Ms Cahill’s death heard from Transdev Head of Safety Eoin Colleran who said a site visit was conducted and lighting was not found to be a contributory factor. Barrister Esther Early, for the family, asked if he was aware the driver described the area as ‘a wall of blackness.’

Mr Colleran replied that he did not believe this to be the case.

Forensic Collision Investigator Garda Damien Farrell noted the emergency brakes were applied and found the body catcher mechanism on the tram had not saved the woman's life. It had been tested for safety two weeks before the collision.

The jury returned a verdict of misadventure and recommended that drivers use full beams along the stretch of track where the collision occurred.

The jury recommended that No Entry signs in the area should be lit up at night and a full risk assessment carried out. The jury further recommended a new trial and testing system for the body catcher mechanism on Luas Trams.

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