Baby death accused blames toddler’s mum for collision

John Fahy, of Groagagh Grange, Sligo
John Fahy, of Groagagh Grange, Sligo

The trial of a Queen’s University student accused of causing the death of a toddler in a fatal crash just over two years ago heard yesterday he blames the child’s mother for the tragic accident.

However, prosecution QC Liam McCollum told the Dungannon Crown Court jury of nine men and three women that 24-year-old John Fahy’s claims “simply do not add up”.

Fahy, from Groagagh Grange in Sligo, denies causing the death of 18-month-old Ryan Cox by driving without due care and attention on the Boa Island Road in Fermanagh on January 14, 2013.

The architectural student also denies causing grievous bodily injury to Ryan’s mother, Katriona by careless driving.

Following the prosecution opening, the court heard of the frantic efforts by a local doctor and an ambulance crew to save baby Ryan, who was found still strapped in his baby seat.

Earlier the court heard prosecution claims that objective and expert evidence would prove that it was Fahy’s Renault Megan car which had been on the wrong side of the Boa Island Road when it collided with Mrs Cox’s car, and not the other way round.

Mr McCollum said that shortly before 4pm that afternoon Mrs Cox, with baby Ryan, strapped in his baby seat, had travelled just over a mile from their home when their car was in collision with that of Fahy’s.

Trial judge Her Honour Judge McReynolds and the jury were told it was the prosecution case that as Fahy was driving around a left hand bend, near the entrance of Castle Cauldwell Forest, he lost control of his car, and, or, by over steering, ended up on the wrong side of the road and “impacted with the motor vehicle of Mrs Cox”.

His driving, said Mr McCollum, fell far below what would have been expected from a confident and careful driver, while Mrs Cox “was entirely on the correct side of the road”. Objective factors would show Fahy was on the wrong side when the vehicles impacted.

Mr McCollum said while Mrs Cox had no memory of the tragic events, Fahy attempted “to blame Mrs Cox for the accident”.

Fahy, the court heard, was interviewed by police when he left hospital some two months later.

He claimed “the last thing I remember being in my lane”, travelling about 45 to 50 mph.

Asked by police if he was saying Mrs Cox’s “car was on the wrong side of the road ... he said yes”.

The trial, expected to last at least a week, continues on Friday.