Inquest finds speeding caused fatal Sligo crash

Wednesday 05 February 2014 22.35
The car hit a tree on a narrow country road in Sooey shortly before midnight on 3 March 2013
The car hit a tree on a narrow country road in Sooey shortly before midnight on 3 March 2013

An inquest into the deaths of two men in a single-vehicle crash in Co Sligo last year has heard that it was caused by speeding.

Declan McCormack, 22, from Castlebaldwin in Sligo and 20-year-old Eoin Kelly from Dromahair in Co Leitrim were killed when the Toyota Starlet being driven by Mr McCormack hit a tree on a narrow country road in Sooey shortly before midnight on 3 March 2013.

The inquest heard that a third young man, backseat passenger Jordan Charters, remarkably survived the crash.

The incident happened as the three friends were driving to a pub in Ballygawley.

Mr Charters said that he had not put his seatbelt on and that Mr McCormack was driving very fast, up to 80m/h (129km/h) on the narrow road.

He said the car hit a bump on the road, became airborne and hit a tree.

He said he found himself sitting half way out the back window of the car.

The driver and front-seat passenger suffered multiple injuries in the impact and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Gardaí said that there was not enough evidence to calculate the speed at which the car was travelling when the accident happened, but that the vehicle had an excessively worn front tyre.

Coroner Dr Des Moran said it was a horrific crash that left Sligo and Leitrim at the loss of two hardworking young men and it rocked the counties to the core.

He said that Sligo County Council had since put up signs warning of the uneven surface on this road.

But he said speed would need to be very restricted on roads such as this and said that young people need to be aware that speed kills.