Man fined €1,340 over Danish crash in which three children died

Friday 25 October 2013 22.16
Saoirse, Conor and Soren O'Shea were killed in the crash
Saoirse, Conor and Soren O'Shea were killed in the crash

Prosecutors in Denmark have said they are planning to drop all charges against a woman in relation to a crash in which three of her children were killed last July.

Soren, 11, nine-year-old Saoirse and three-year-old Conor O'Shea died when the car being driven by their mother Maria, who is a Danish citizen, was hit by another car.

Mrs O’Shea and her four-month-old son survived the crash.

The family live in Australia but had been in Denmark visiting relatives.

The children's Irish father, Brian O'Shea, was not in the vehicle at the time.

Lasse Burholt, 39, who was driving at 125km/h in an 80km/h zone, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

He was fined €1,340 and put on probation for three years.

The court heard that Mrs O'Shea made a wrong left turn on a road in Jutland when the other vehicle, driven by Burholt, collided with the side of her car.

Charges had also been brought against Mrs O'Shea following the crash.

However, the Deputy Chief Prosecutor for Jutland said that those charges would now be dropped.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News At One, Torben Kauffman-Sorensen said that in cases where someone had lost a loved one, charges such as these were not typically brought in Denmark.

He said the prosecutor's office had not sought a custodial sentence for Burholt in the case as this was not typical for similar cases heard by Danish courts.

"We'd only be talking about prison if the driver had been driving with drugs, alcohol, or if the kind of driving had been madly. In those cases we have prison but else it's only fines".

The prosecutor acknowledged that it sounded unreasonable to the family that the man did not serve a custodial sentence given the fact that he was speeding.

He said it was "very difficult" to offer any words of consolation to the family in relation to the verdict.

The "fine or small few days in prison" would not be comparable to a situation where they had lost their children, he said.