Boy (12) killed when thrown under truck in sulky car accident

Inquest jury recommends introduction of laws to regulate sulky use after Dublin incident

The family of a 12-year-old boy killed in an accident involving a sulky car on a public road say they hope new regulations can prevent further loss of life.

Sean Doyle (12) from Melrose Avenue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, sustained catastrophic injuries after he was thrown from a sulky car beneath the axles of an oncoming truck. He was one of three passengers on the sulky when the accident happened at St Cuthbert's Road, Clondalkin, on February 26th, 2016.

The jury at an inquest into his death recommended the introduction of bylaws specifically relating to the regulation and safety considerations of the use of sulky cars on public roads.

"I just hope no other child is lost in these circumstances," the child's mother, Stacey Doyle, said following the inquest.


"Sean was an amazing boy. He was the heart of our family, we miss him so much. He was full of life and fun and devilment and everyone loved him," his grandmother, Mary Doyle, said. "We are so glad of these recommendations, there is absolutely no way any child should be out on a sulky."

Best friends

Sean's best friend (10) had received a sulky car for his horse, Rambo, for Christmas. Cherie Smith said her son was allowed to drive it around the yard but not on the public road. "They were best friends. They were both mad into the horses," she said.

Sean’s friend was holding the reins when the horse bolted across St Cuthbert’s Road. The sulky car collided with an oncoming truck. The tubular steel shaft connecting the cart to the horse’s harness snapped and Sean was thrown beneath the lorry.

Truck driver John Pouch, a local authority worker, said there was nothing he could have done to avoid the collision. "The horse just shot across the road and hit the truck behind the cab," he said.

PSV inspector Garda David O’Brien described the sulky as a man-made cart on a tubular steel axle with no seatbelts or side-guards.

“It’s not a vehicle that should be used on a public highway,” Garda O’Brien said.

Sean Doyle was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was severe head injuries. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.