Family of Limerick student killed by Lorry driver speak of devestating loss

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

THE family of a Monaleen Heights student killed in a horrific motorway crash in Britain last year have spoken of the “nightmare” and “devastation” of losing her.

THE family of a Monaleen Heights student killed in a horrific motorway crash in Britain last year have spoken of the “nightmare” and “devastation” of losing her.

Former Castletroy College student Jemma O’Sullivan, 22, lost her life in September 2010 after the van in which she was a passenger in was hit from behind by a heavy goods vehicle near Sheffield. She had been travelling back to Sunderland, where she had a promising future as a pharmacologist.

That vehicle was being driven by Christopher Kane, 67, who had been composing text messages while driving at 55mph. Doncaster Crown Court heard one of the messages he sent required 117 key strokes.

Kane, of Rotherham, was jailed for five years last week after he pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving.

In a statement released to the Limerick Chronicle, the family said this sentence “brings neither comfort or satisfaction.”

Jemma’s parents Vincent and Margaret said there has not been one night since the incident where they have not experienced “profound sorrow” and deep loss” for their youngest daughter.

“As a family we all think about Jemma first thing in the morning and last thing at night and many times in between,” the statement read.

The family accused Kane of having “absolutely no regard for other road users.”

* A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Chronicle, print edition, dated December 13, 2011.