Drunk-driver in fatal crash was 4½ times over limit
Kevin McClintock and Orla O’Reilly were killed when his car hit hers in Donegal in 2015
Garda evidence revealed how Kevin McClintock’s car veered on to the wrong side of the road before hitting Orla O’Reilly’s vehicle in Killyverry, Co Donegal.
A man whose car veered on to the wrong side of a road killing himself and the driver of an oncoming car was almost 4½ times over the drink-driving limit.
Kevin McClintock was killed instantly when his Honda Accord car hit youth worker Orla O’Reilly’s Skoda Octavia car in Co Donegal on Friday, November 13th, 2015.
Mr McClintock, a father of three, was due to become a father again while Ms O’Reilly was due to be married just a few months later.
The double inquest into the crash on the notorious blackspot on the N13 at Killyverry, Newtowncunningham was held at Donegal Coroner’s Court in Letterkenny today.
The court was told Mr McClintock (32) and another man John McBride had been in Letterkenny and had been returning to their homes in Derry.
Ms O’Reilly (28), a youth worker with the Donegal Youth Services, was travelling to Letterkenny for meetings on the day.
Garda evidence revealed how the black Honda Accord veered on to the wrong side of the road and impacted directly with the Skoda.
So severe was the impact that the Honda split in two with the back half of the car being found 60 metres down the road.
The Skoda, which suffered catastrophic damage, came to an immediate stop at the side of the road.
Both Mr McClintock, from Derry and Ms O’Reilly, from Carnamoyle, Muff, died at the scene while Mr McBride was rushed to hospital.
Witness Adrian McLaughlin, who was returning from leaving a relative to Belfast Airport, told how he suddenly saw a black car coming around a corner at him sideways.
He pulled into the side of the road but the car then collided head-on with another black car which had been travelling behind him.
Garda Damien Mulkearns, a public service vehicle inspector, said both cars had been in good serviceable condition before the incident.
However, he said neither Mr McClintock or Mr McBride were wearing seatbelts, but Ms O’Reilly was.
Garda Gerard McCauley, garda forensic collision operator, told the inquest how the day was wet but that the surface of the road, which was governed by a 100km/h speed limit, was good.
He said the Honda Accord rounded an easy bend but the car lost control and veered into the wrong lane before hitting the Skoda Octavia being driven by Ms O’Reilly.
Garda McCauley said he could not determine the exact speed of the Honda car as there had been scuff marks but no skid marks but said it was certainly travelling in excess of 100km/h.
He added that the damage to both cars was the worst he had seen in his career.
“It was catastrophic,” he said.
The family of Mr McClintock asked questions and said there was no proof that it was Kevin McClintock who was driving the car.
Coroner Dr Denis McCauley said the inquest was not an exercise to apportion blame and said the McClintocks had a right to get various depositions in the case.
Pathologist Dr Gerry O’Dowd said both deceased had suffered multiple injuries and the cause of death was due to multiple injuries.
He said that Mr McClintock’s blood/alcohol reading was 229mg.
Coroner McCauley explained the drink-driving limit was 50mg of alcohol to blood which meant Mr McClintock was almost 4½ times over the drink-driving limit.
In the case of Mr McClintock, the jury returned a finding of death due to multiple injuries.
In the case of Ms O’Reilly, the jury returned a finding of death due to multiple injuries and returned a verdict of misadventure.
Coroner Dr McCauley sympathised with the families of both the deceased persons.