Man jailed for crash which caused death and serious injury

Sean Casey was four times over the drink drive limit at the time of the accident

Judge O Donnabhain said it was one of the worst cases of its kind he had come across

Judge O Donnabhain said it was one of the worst cases of its kind he had come across

Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 19:03

A 27-year-old man who crashed into a roundabout killing one of his passengers and paralysing another, has been jailed for seven years and banned from driving for 30 years.

Sean Casey from Cooragannive, Skibbereen, Co Cork was four times over the drink driving limit at the time. He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Megan Johnston (22) and causing serious bodily harm to Kate Petford (23) who was paralysed after the crash on April 8th 2013.

Three of Casey’s other passengers, Michael Connolly, Patrick O’Sullivan and Michael West also suffered minor injuries in the crash while Casey emerged unscathed and fled from the scene at Ilen Street in Skibbereen, Cork Circuit Criminal Court was told.

Ms Johnston was pronounced dead at the scene while Ms Petford was rushed to hospital with extensive injuries and has ended up paralysed from the neck down and is currently receiving treatment at the National Rehabilitation Institute, Garda Oonagh Collins told the court.

The accident happened at 1.45am and CCTV footage from a nearby garage showed Casey was travelling at 80kph when he crashed his silver BMW into the roundabout and collided with a lampost in an area which was governed by a 50kph speed limit.

Garda Collins said Casey fled the scene but later rang the emergency services and was found hiding in a ditch in Ilen Street and when he was breathalysed three hours later, he was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 204mgs per 100 mls - four times the legal limit.

He was later arrested by gardaí, made full admissions and had pleaded guilty to the dangerous driving charge as well as a drink driving charge and a failing to remain at the scene of accident charge, said Garda Collins.

Casey, who worked in his family’s plant hire business, had a previous conviction from 2010 for failing to give appropriate information under the Road Traffic Act, said Garda Collins who revealed that Ms Johnston was pronounced dead at the scene

Judge Sean O Donnnabhain heard poignant and emotional victim impact statements from both Ms Johnston’s parents and Ms Petford and her family before Casey took witness stand to apologise for his actions.

“I am very sorry for what happened...I wish I could take back what happened...it kills me every day to think what happened...I am very sorry,” said Casey whom the court heard had been drinking with the group in the Harbour Bar in Leap on the night in question.