Woman paralysed after car crashed into her during school run, settles case

Sally Crossan lost function of all four limbs and was in hospital for 19 months, court told

John Crossan of Lifford Co Donegal holds picture of son Luke and wife Sally who was left paralysed after road collision. Photograph: Collins Courts

John Crossan of Lifford Co Donegal holds picture of son Luke and wife Sally who was left paralysed after road collision. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A woman left paralysed after a car crashed into hers in a “ferocious collision” during the school run has settled her High Court action on confidential terms.

Sally Crossan lost the function of all four limbs and was in hospital for 19 months after the accident, the court heard.

Liam Reidy SC, with Richard Lyons SC for Ms Crossan, said she had dropped her son Luke off at school and was driving to Letterkenny and taking a turn right when the crash happened.

“It was a ferocious collision and her car was pushed back into the ditch. She was in the vehicle for 35 minutes before being extricated from it by firemen ,” counsel said.

Ms Crossan suffered profound injuries including to the brain in the collision but it was only later realised that, for most of 18 months afterwards, she had locked-in syndrome, he said. Her cognition was later found to be intact and she was able to learn and communicate with words.

Ms Crossan (57), a former creche worker, of Glenfad, Porthall Lifford, Co Donegal had sued the driver of the other car, Christine Henry, Greenhills, Manorcunnignham, Co Donegal, and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) as a result of the accident outside Lifford on February 9th, 2016.

Against Ms Henry, she claimed failure to steer a proper and safe course, to keep any or any proper lookout and driving at an excessive speed.

It was claimed against the MIBI the accident was caused or contributed to by a large amount of oil on the roadway allegedly caused by the actions of an untraced and unidentified motorist.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told it was a distress for the Crossan family that liability continued to be at issue until this week.

Mr Reidy said the case was now before the court for assessment of damages only. It was accepted Ms Crossan was in no way responsible for the accident, he said.

On Wednesday, the judge was told the actions by Ms Crossan and her husband John had been settled on confidential terms.

Earlier, in his opening of the case, Mr Reidy said his client was in hospital for 19 months after the accident and was not allowed home until September 2017. She has no limb function, has to be fed through a tube and needs 24 hour care. Mr Crossan had given up his job to look after his wife, he added.

Mr Justice Cross congratulated Mr Crossan on all he had done up to now in caring for his wife.