Woman’s foot almost severed when trailer came loose and struck her on footpath

A young Tralee woman’s foot was almost severed when a trailer came loose from a van and struck her as she walked on a footpath.

56-year-old Gerard McEnery of Slievewaddra, Ballyduff was before Tralee Circuit Court charged with dangerous driving causing serious harm, arising from the incident at Caherslee, Tralee on July 13th 2016.

28-year-old Natalie Ryan read her victim impact statement, saying after 15 surgeries she may have to have part of her leg amputated.

The case has been adjourned to November for sentencing.

Natalie Ryan was walking from Tralee town centre out Caherslee on July 13th 2016 when a trailer became uncoupled from the attached van, mounted the footpath, and struck her.

The van was being driven by Gerard McEnery, who is accused of dangerous driving causing serious harm.

Forensic Collision Investigator, Garda Jim O’Brien said the towing attachment from trailer to van was worn, the trailer had no functioning brakes, was rough and ill-maintained, and the bearings were worn, resulting in it swaying from side to side.

The impact from the trailer resulted in Natalie Ryan’s left foot being almost entirely severed.

She’s in constant pain and has undergone 15 surgeries, and in her victim impact statement, she said she may have to have her left leg amputated from below the knee.

She was 26 at the time and had been due to start a Masters at NUI Galway; she said the incident not only changed her life, but the lives of her family and friends, adding her injuries demand the care and needs of a small child.

Counsel for the accused Brian McInerney said his client, who had pleaded guilty, was deeply remorseful and this incident has had a profound effect on him.

Judge Tom O’Donnell said he needed time to consider the case and adjourned sentencing until the 21st of November.