HIGH Court proceedings have been initiated against Steve Collins over causing the accidental death of a Limerick pensioner that he rolled over last year.
Proceedings have been issued to Mr Collins by the Conor O’Sullivan, the 26-year-old grandson of deceased grandmother Maura O’Brien (89) of Milford Grange, Castletroy, Limerick over her death on February 17, 2016.
Conor O’Sullivan had driven his grandmother to the Ulster Bank at Castletroy in Limerick as the 89-year-old had been planning her finances for a proposed trip to the US to visit her sister.
Ms O’Brien left her grandson’s vehicle and walked behind Steve Collins parked jeep in the car park.
Second later, Mr Collins started his jeep and proceeded to reverse out of the parking space.
Ms O’Brien was subsequently rolled over by Mr Collins in his 2.7tonne Range Rover jeep. She died as a result of her extensive and traumatic injuries.
Last week, a jury at Limerick Coroner’s Court returned a verdict of accidental death after a two-day hearing into Ms O’Brien’s death.
Limerick Coroner John McNamara had been told by Mr Collins in his evidence that he engaged the reverse gear, checked his mirrors and windows as he slowly moved off.
However the jeep stopped after a few feet and he felt the wheels lift upwards. When he got out, he saw that Mrs O’Brien was trapped underneath.
He told the court that he did not see her when he started reversing and that his reversing sensors and camera “didn’t show up anything”.
PSV inspector Garda Redy said he found no defects when he inspected Mr Collins’ 2010 registered jeep but noticed that a reversing camera took between 14 and 26 seconds to engage if the jeep was put into reverse from a parked position.
Forensic collision inspector Garda Conor McDermott said there were no indents on the jeep’s bodywork to suggest a heavy impact. The only areas he could clearly determine had struck Mrs O’Brien were the rear passenger wheel and the underside of the jeep at the rear axel and wishbone.
He said there was “insufficient evidence to suggest that the pedestrian was upright,” and that Mrs O’Brien, who used a walking stick, would be classed as a “vulnerable road user”.
Ms O’Brien would have “offered no match for the jeep”.
Witnesses said Mr Collins was left traumatised at the scene in the aftermath of what had happened.
The jury at Limerick coroner’s court returned a verdict of accidental death.
This week it has emerged that Conor O’Sullivan initiated High Court civil proceedings against Mr Collins for personal damages.
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