*FILE PIC. 

A “very upset and distraught” grandson and driver was heard saying ‘why didn’t I hit the fox” at a crash scene in West Clare where his 73 year old grand-mother died.

On June 18th last, rear seat passenger, Margaret Wright died from blunt force injuries sustained after the car being driven by her grand-son, Connor Wright (32) of Pella Rd, Kilrush, crashed in the single car accident.

An inquest was told that Mr Wright had lived with his ‘nana’, Margaret Wright, since he was four days old.

Mr Wright had brought Margaret Wright and his girlfriend, Chantelle Burke for a Sunday drive on Father’s Day last year.

In a Garda interview after the road traffic accident, Mr Wright said, “A fox or a badger came out onto the road while I was driving home from the chipper past Cree, instead of just hitting the fox I swerved in and hit the brakes.

“I turned my car in instead of turning out and crashed my car”.

He said, “I moved the car to the right as there was nothing coming against me. I felt in control of the car and all of a sudden I lost control. I remember the impact but nothing else”.

One of the first on the scene was off-duty nurse, Maureen Nagle who performed CPR in an attempt to revive an unresponsive Margaret Wright on a sleeping bag laid out on the road.

Ms Nagle said that the young man at the scene at Ballinagun West, Cree in West Clare didn’t say anything, only “why didn’t I hit the fox”.

Connor Wright said that he had brought his granny and girlfriend, Chantelle Burke to a pub in Cooraclare where he said that his grand-mother had five pints and a glass of Coors Light while Chantelle had five pints of Bulmers.

He said, “We had a good time there as we did most Sundays when we were out”.

Ms Burke’s deposition said that herself and Margaret Wright of Pella Rd, Kilrush had two to three drinks each in the pub and Connor had only two drinks all day as he wasn’t feeling well.

Ms Burke said on the way home from the pub and chipper while a front seat passenger, she saw out of corner of her left eye, a fox came across the road.

She said that her recollection is a little bit fuzzy but “all of a sudden a bang happened – we went across the road and hit a ditch or something – I don’t know exactly what we hit”.

Ms Burke said that Margaret Wright was not wearing a seat belt.

In separate proceedings at Ennis District Court in April concerning the fatal crash, Mr Wright pleaded guilty to drink driving at Ballinagun West, Cree in West Clare on June 18th last.

Judge Alec Gabbett imposed a two year mandatory driving ban after the construction worker was found to be driving over the alcohol limit at the time.

Judge Gabbett said that Mr Wright’s alcohol reading “was not a particularly high reading” but comes into the mandatory two year driving ban range.

Solicitor for Mr Wright, Joe Chambers told the court that Mr Wright “was very close” to his grand-mother.

Connor Wright was not present at the inquest and County Coroner, Isobel O’Dea asked “how is Connor doing?” and in response was told “he is okay – he is holding his own – he is doing day to day”.

Connor’s mother, Catherine arrived at the scene and in a deposition said that Conor was “very upset and distraught”.

Catherine said that when medics removed her mother, Margaret’s top to perform CPR, she told Connor to leave the scene “as he didn’t need to see this plus my mother would be mortified – Conor seeing her with no top on”.

Catherine said that she genuinely thought her mother would be fine and she didn’t want Connor to see his grandmother naked on the ground.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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