Belfast Telegraph

Twelfth marcher crushed after driver ‘lost control’ of vehicle

By John Mulgrew

A woman was crushed to death under the wheels of a car whose driver had lost control during an Orange Order parade, a court has heard.

Deborah Jordan, from Saintfield, was killed after she was struck by a Range Rover while marching with the Cahard Flute Band shortly after leaving a Twelfth of July demonstration at a field in Killyleagh, Co Down on July 13, 2009.

During her inquest yesterday, witnesses said at around 4.30pm groups of marchers left the field at Killyleagh and proceeded around 50 yards along the Coily Road before seeing a burgundy Range Rover driving slowly towards the crowd.

According to witnesses at the scene, the vehicle struck Ms Jordan in the back as well as hitting a nine-year-old boy who sustained minor injuries. There were “shrieks and screams” from the crowds as the body of Ms Jordan was dragged under the vehicle for around 20 feet.

Deborah Jordan was found bleeding profusely from the mouth and was airlifted to Musgrave Hospital before being moved to the Royal Victoria in Belfast where she was pronounced dead at 6pm.

The 30-year-old had been an active member of the Cahard Orange Lodge for many years.

The driver of the vehicle, an elderly Orangeman, told an inquest yesterday he could “not remember or recollect” what had happened. Coroner Brian Sherrard asked Robert Gibson, who is in his 80s, whether he “had a turn” or if there were “any concerns about his wellness”, to which he replied “no”.

The heavy off-road vehicle was being used as an official Orange Order vehicle for its elderly members. A passenger, Jack Anderson said he heard a bump followed by screaming before the vehicle came to a sudden stop.

According to Sgt James McIlveen, who had attended the scene, the senior investigating officer had determined that there was no need for a forensics team to be deployed.

Concluding, Coroner Sherrard said Ms Jordan “had been struck by a slow Range Rover, the owner of which had lost all control of the vehicle. Sadly Ms Jordan sustained severe head injuries and died as a result”.

He extended his sincere condolences to Ms Jordan's family.

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