04 Jul 2022

Coroner told pensioner died weeks after County Limerick road collision

Coroner told pensioner died weeks after County Limerick road collision

The man's inquest was heard at Kilmallock Courthouse

A VERDICT of accidental death was recorded at the inquest of a pensioner who passed away a number of weeks after he was involved in a road traffic collision.

The man, aged in his 80s, died in University Hospital Limerick on a date in 2019. Limerick Coroner’s Court was told he was involved in a single vehicle road traffic collision on a road near his home.

The investigating garda said they assisted the man on the afternoon of the accident and he was taken by air ambulance to University Hospital Limerick.

“He got up at 4am that morning. He normally got up at 5am. His wife wanted to drive him but he insisted, saying: ‘I’m old enough’,” read out the garda from his deposition.

The coroner’s court heard that the deceased was taking a lot of medication for Parkinson’s, heart disease and diabetes.

He  was “agitated” that morning and “concerned about getting jobs done”. He was on his way to buy stamps to post letters at the time of the accident. After the incident he faced a “long road to recovery” but took “a turn for the worse” a number of weeks later and died.

Pathologist Dr Gabor Laskai said he died as a result of the car accident in which he suffered serious injuries including fractures to his spine and head. He added that the deceased had also developed pneumonia.

Limerick coroner John McNamara asked Dr Laskai if there was any evidence to suggest the pensioner suffered a heart attack or stroke. Dr Laskai said no.

Mr McNamara said there was no medical reason, or issue with the vehicle, to explain why he “lost control”.

“He may have fallen asleep or taken his eyes off the road for a second but we are just surmising. There were no other vehicles involved and while people stopped to help they didn’t see the accident. The appropriate finding is accidental death. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fill in the blanks for you,” said Mr McNamara, who expressed his sincere condolences to the man’s wife on the tragic and untimely loss of her husband.

Inspector Sandra Heelan expressed her sympathies both in a personal capacity and on behalf of gardai in Limerick. His wife thanked gardai for all their work.

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