A WOMAN broke down in tears in Limerick Coroner’s Court as she recalled letting a man cross the road - just moments before seeing him in her rear-view mirror being hit by another vehicle.
The inquest into the death of Brendan Long, 61, of Bawnmore Road, Kennedy Park, heard that he was crossing the road at 2pm on October 25, 2009, after doing his shopping in Tesco in the Roxboro shopping centre. As he walked into the lane bordering Roxboro garda station he was hit by a grey Toyota Corolla, driven by a woman in her 80s.
Detective Garda Gary Laide, Roxboro garda station, said a witness ran into the public office in the station urging that an ambulance be called after seeing a man being knocked down.
Another male witness said he saw the elderly man crossing the road, keeping his head down, and being hit when he was halfway into the next lane.
He said his body was propelled into the air, about a foot above the vehicle, and his debris, including his shoes, shopping bag, and walking stick, flew off in different directions.
A woman driving from the Old Cork Road said she was coming around Roxboro Road roundabout when she saw a man with a walking stick and a bag trying to cross the road. She said she always made an effort to allow elderly people cross the road safely in front of her. In her statement to gardai, she said she paid attention in her wing mirror to see if he got across safely, before being horrified by the sight of the fatal collision. She then pulled in her vehicle at the roadside, jumped out and knelt down beside him on the road to say a prayer, and later hugged the woman who was driving the Toyota. The coroner Tony Casey pronounced that his death was due to multiple injuries following a road traffic accident.
The deceased, who was survived by his three brothers and one sister, was described as a “gentle giant” by his family. They said he regularly manned church gate collections, as long as they weren’t political.