Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Crash victim didn’t wear seatbelt, inquest told

An 18-year-old student from Dungiven was not wearing a seatbelt when the car in which he was a rear seat passenger struck a telegraph pole and a low wall bridge on the outskirts of the Co Londonderry town two years ago.

Ryan McCloskey from Rannyglass, Dungiven, was killed when a car being driven by his friend went out of control along the Ballyquinn Road on July 14, 2007.

An inquest into the teenager's death was told yesterday that the driver of the Vauxhall Vectra car, Anton O'Hara from Mountview Park, Dungiven, who was a restricted driver at the time of the accident, was later fined £150 and also had three penalty points imposed when he pleaded guilty to careless driving and driving without R-plates.

Coroner Suzanne Anderson said she hoped that the tragic circumstances of the accident would serve as a warning to young and inexperienced drivers.

She said that a post-mortem report stated that Ryan died from an injury to the head sustained in the crash and at the time of his death he had no alcohol in his body. Rory O'Kane, who was the front seat passenger in the car, said Anton O'Hara moved out to overtake a tractor and the next thing he remembered was lying inside the crashed car.

Damien Cole, a forensic officer who investigated the crash, said Mr O'Hara lost control of his car after it had mounted a grass verge. He said the speed of the car at the time of the overtaking was about 50mph and that the speed at impact was 45mph.

The coroner returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

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