Woman found guilty of careless driving causing death of 14-year-old in Scartaglin

A Cork woman has been found guilty of careless driving causing the death of a 14-year-old in Scartaglin.

Caitlin Taylor of Gouldshill, Mallow died in the single vehicle collision on the 15th of June 2014 at Knockeenahone.

The driver of the car, 25-year-old Sarah O’Connell of 44 Seán Moylan Park, Mallow, had pleaded not guilty to the charge, but the jury in her trial at Tralee Circuit Court this afternoon found her guilty of the charge.

It was alleged Sarah O’Connell had a momentary lapse of concentration while driving from Mallow to Scartaglin between 11pm and midnight on the 15th of June 2014.

The Toyota Yaris car crossed onto the opposite side of the road on a bend before entering a field and somersaulting.

Sarah O’Connell, who had a learner permit for eight months at the time of the crash, didn’t have an accompanying qualified driver with her.

14-year-old Caitlin Taylor was a front seat passenger, neither she nor the accused were wearing seatbelts.

Ms Taylor was ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene.

Ms O’Connell’s then 18-month-old daughter was strapped in in the rear of the car and was uninjured.

The jury of six men and five women deliberated for two hours today before reaching their guilty verdict.

Judge Eoin Garavan exempted them from jury duty for five years, and adjourned the sentencing of Sarah O’Connell until the 16th of May for preparation of a victim impact statement.