Inquest hears man killed in east Kerry crash was not wearing seatbelt

Coroners CourtAn inquest into the death of an east Kerry man who died in a single vehicle road accident last January heard he was not wearing his seat belt at the time. Michael O’Donoghue of Derryreagh (PRON: DERRY-RAE-IG), Clonkeen died when the car he was driving left the road and collided with a large rock. Michael O’Donoghue, a retired postman, was travelling in the direction of Cork on the N22 road near Clonkeen on January 23rd when his car left the road, mounted an embankment and crashed into a large rock. Eyewitness Charlie O’Neill told the South Kerry Coroner’s Court that that he came upon the scene and saw steam or smoke emerging from the bonnet and saw a person in the car up against the passenger door. Garda depositions said that it appeared that the deceased was sitting on his fastened seatbelt but had probably been driving within the speed limit. No other vehicle was involved in the accident. The post mortem report presented to the inquest said that Mr O’Donoghue had a history of heart disease and found that his death had been caused by very blunt force trauma to the chest and related injuries. In expressing sympathy to the family of the deceased, Coroner Terence Casey said that nobody will ever know whether the accident was related to Mr O’Donoghue’s heart complaint or a loss of control of the vehicle. Gardaí and jury members joined in the expressions of sympathy to Mr O’Donoghue’s family.