Cork man sentenced to seven years over fatal road crash

Tuesday 18 February 2014 11.25
Six people were in the BMW at the time of the crash
Six people were in the BMW at the time of the crash

A 27-year-old man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after a fatal road crash in which one woman died and another was paralysed for life.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that Sean Casey, from Cooragannive in Skibbereen, was four times over the drink-driving limit and speeding when the crash occurred on 8 April 2013.

There were six people in Casey's BMW car when it hit a lamp post at a roundabout on the outskirts of Skibbereen.

CCTV footage from a nearby garage showed that the car was travelling at 80km/h at the time of the crash.

The court was told that Casey fled the scene, but later rang the emergency services and was found hiding in a ditch.

One of his passengers, Megan Johnston, who was 22 at the time of the crash, died at the scene, while her friend Kate Petford was paralysed from the neck down.

In her victim impact statement, Ms Petford, 23, told the court that despite being left quadriplegic, her greatest loss has been the death of her best friend.

Ms Johnston's mother Valda, who had a stroke two years ago and is now confined to a wheelchair, said when her daughter was killed, her world fell apart.

She said she lost her permanent carer, her confidante, and her reason for getting up and fighting her illness.

Judge Seán Ó'Donnabháin said it was one of the worst cases he had come across. 

He sentenced Casey to seven years in prison and also disqualified him from driving for a period of 30 years.