‘Split-second decision’ can take a life, warns daughter of road crash victim

Drivers urged to slow down at event to remember those killed on Irish roads

So far this year 127 people have been killed on the roads in the Republic, an increase of 11 deaths compared to the same period last year. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

So far this year 127 people have been killed on the roads in the Republic, an increase of 11 deaths compared to the same period last year. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

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It takes a “split second to make a mistake that can take a life”, a woman who lost her father told a remembrance event for those killed on Irish roads.

Lisa Marie Maher, whose father Eugene Maher (62) was killed after going cycling in Dublin in June 2015, urged drivers to slow down and take more care so that the pain her family had gone through would not be suffered by others.

“I saw my mam crumble in shock and my brother rise to his feet in protest,” she said of the moment medics told the family her father’s head injuries were catastrophic and would cause his death within 24 hours.

She told the Road Safety Authority’s event to mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, held online on Sunday, that her father had been out cycling, his favourite sport, at Dollymount Beach, Dublin, on the day he was killed.

“I whispered in his ear how I loved and adored him and promised him I would fulfil my dreams and ambitions… I begged him not to go,” she said of her father’s last hours unconscious in hospital.

‘Bad decision’

Ms Maher said her father never should have died so young as he had so many plans left in life. But he had been killed because of a “split-second bad decision that someone else made and who will now regret for the rest of his life”.

So far this year 127 people have been killed on the roads in the Republic, an increase of 11 deaths compared to the same period last year.

Mr Maher, from Fairview in Dublin was seriously injured on June 30th, 2015, while crossing with his bike at a pedestrian green light on the Clontarf Road. He died that night from head injuries.

Christopher Coleman (30), Reuben Street in Dublin, was convicted before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Maher as well as leaving the scene of the crash and driving without insurance. He was jailed for a total of three years and three months and disqualified from driving for 15 years.