€5m awarded to teenage girl over crash

Friday 22 February 2013 08.10
Court heard that Sinead Meaney suffered a fracture to the skull and has been left brain damaged
Court heard that Sinead Meaney suffered a fracture to the skull and has been left brain damaged

A 16-year-old girl who was seriously injured in a car crash in 2004 has settled her High Court action for damages for €5 million.

Sinead Meaney, who was seven years old at the time, was injured in a crash after the car her mother Stella was driving hit another car when she suffered a diabetic blackout.

The driver of the other car, 41-year-old Fergal Egan, was killed and three other people were injured in the crash.

Sinead, who was a back seat passenger, suffered a skull fracture and brain damage in the crash on 15 April 2004 at Carrickbyrne, New Ross, in Co Wexford.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan was told that she is now highly active and entirely mobile and attends a special secondary school.

Sinead sued - through her parents Jim and Stella - the nominee of FBD Insurance Company.

It was claimed that the car owned by her father and driven by her mother was caused to drive on the incorrect side of the road and collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction.

Sinead sustained a depressed skull fracture and a torn kidney as well as lacerations to her scalp and right eye.

She was first brought to Wexford General Hospital and later transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where she was on life support and required surgery for the reconstruction of her airways.

It was claimed she also required major surgery, which left her with a hoarse voice, and she has difficulties with memory.

Mrs Meaney was found not guilty by a jury at Wexford Circuit Court on a charge of driving a mechanically propelled vehicle at Raheenvarren, Newbawn, New Ross in a manner that was dangerous to the public thereby causing the death of Mr Egan of Boley, Ballycullane, Co Wexford.

The head-on collision occurred shortly after 1.30pm on the N25 close to Carrigbyrne about eight miles from New Ross at a notorious accident black spot.

Mrs Meaney, who was travelling towards Wexford, had a diabetic blackout and her car crossed to the other side and collided with Mr Egan's car.

Mr Egan and his wife Beverly, who was in the back seat, were on their way back from an Easter holiday in France.

The couple had travelled from Cherbourg and were within 30 minutes of their home when the Meaney's vehicle collided with their car.

Mrs Meaney, along with daughters Sinead and ten-year-old Aoife, and Mrs Egan were injured in the crash.

In court Mr Justice Sean Ryan said he was happy to approve the settlement.

He said he knew it had been a difficult ordeal and the case had been going on a long time.

He praised the legal team for reaching such a successful outcome in the case.