Black spot sign recommended by inquest jury

Naas Courthouse.     Photo ©Tony Keane
A jury, which heard evidence on a fatal road crash in west Kildare, has recommended that signs be put up in the area indicating an accident black spot.

A jury, which heard evidence on a fatal road crash in west Kildare, has recommended that signs be put up in the area indicating an accident black spot.

At an inquest into the death of Cavan resident, Leo McEntee (33), held in Naas, on 10 March, the jury concluded that Mr. McEntee’s death, following a car accident at Painstown, Kilcock, on 8 September 2013, was accidental.

Mr. McEntee, a lorry driver by profession, was driving a car from Cavan heading towards Mondello. When it approached a bend at Painstown, after going on a long straight stretch with continuous white lines, it left the road and crashed into a field.

Mr. McEntee, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was killed. A child who was a passenger in the car escaped with injuries.

A witness, Andrew McMahon, said Mr. McEntee’s car had passed him at a very high speed.

An examination of the car found that its two back tyres were a bit worn.

There was contradictory Garda evidence, at first, on the number of accidents at the spot but it merged there were a number of deaths there.

A brother of Mr. McEntee’s said he had returned to the scene a week after the had accident and that residents had told him that there had been a number of accidents recently.

A passenger in the car, who was wearing his seatbelt recalled the car skidding and turning over on its side.

Mr. McMahon said he was on the Clane road at between 9.10am and 9.23am on the morning in question when he saw lights in his rear mirror. It was Mr. McEntee’s car. “I knew he was going fast,” he said. The car “sped out of sight.”

Mr. McMahon said when he came around the corner at the accident scene, he could see a child on the ditch with some injuries. He found the “car standing upright on the passenger side” and he called an ambulance. Three of them arrived.

Garda Bernard O’Halloran said the driver had not been wearing his seatbelt and the two back tyres were worn.

Garda Turlough McMahon, a forensic collision investigator, who was giving the evidence of a Garda who was not present, said the accident location was a sweeping right hand bend and the road was in excellent condition. He said there was a sign to warn of the bend and the County Council had erected a sign to say “slow”.

Garda McMahon said there were no tyre marks, except on the grass verge, possibly because the road surface was damp at the time.

He said there had been no other collision of a similar nature at the spot within the previous five years.

He noted Mr. McEntee’s car was in third gear and that if he was wearing a seatbelt it would have greatly increased his chances of survival.

A brother of Mr. McEntee’s questioned the accident element of the report saying he had been told a couple of people had been killed at the spot and here were headstones. He said he was told there were two accidents the previous week.

During evidence from Sgt. Gavin Dunphy, Maynooth, it emerged there had been three road fatalities there in the past six years.

The inquest heard that Mr. McEntee died from multiple injuries.

The jury concluded death was accidental and recommended that a sign indicating accident black spot be erected on either side of the road.