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€300,000 award for elderly man crippled in fatal car accident

€300,000 award for elderly man crippled in fatal car accident

Ann O’Loughlin

AN ELDERLY man who suffered severe injuries in a car crash which left three teenagers dead has received more than ?300,000 in damages.

Firefighters had to use cutting equipment to pull the dead and injured from the wreckage after the young people’s car careered across the road and ploughed in to pensioner Thomas Cooney’s car on a summer evening.

Mr Cooney, who had been on his way to a funeral with his wife Eilish, was trapped after the 1991 Toyota Starlet went out of control, travelled on the wrong side of the road and “collided violently” with his car.

People at the scene near Hospital, Co Limerick, said it appeared the Starlet had been cut in two on impact.

Thomas Cooney is now confined to a wheelchair after the two-car crash on July 24, 2003.

The farmer and father-of-two from Abbington, Murroe, Co Limerick, had sued the insurers of the owner of the 1991-registered car which crashed in to him.

The High Court was yesterday told the crash scene was “traumatic and horrific” and all the young occupants of the other car were killed instantly.

The communities of Herbertstown and Hospital were devastated by the tragedy which left three young people from the area, James Ryan (19), Castelfarm, Hospital; Seamus Keogh (18), Ballinard, Herbertstown, and Naomi Mulcahy (16), also from Ballinard, dead.

The trio were travelling together to a match when tragedy struck at a sweeping bend on the Caherconlish-Mitchelstown Road.

Mr Cooney suffered multiple and severe injuries, his counsel, David Kennedy SC, told the High Court and he spent three weeks in hospital and six weeks in a nursing home as well as undergoing surgery.

At one stage the pensioner contracted the MRSA bug and is now permanently in a wheelchair.

This article appeared in the Independent –

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