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Crash which killed three people caused by victim’s high speeding, inquest hears

Police accident

An inquest into the deaths of three people after a road traffic collision at a treacherous bend on the edge of Moy, County Tyrone has found one of the victim’s was driving at excessive speed, when his car spun out of control, crashing into an oncoming vehicle, seriously injuring the front seat passenger who later died.

Presiding coroner Maria Dougan outlined how Patrik Kemenczei (27) and Alaedin Fejzula (23) who both resided at Derrycaw Road, Dungannon died at the scene on February 3, 2019 shortly after 1pm.

Brigid McKenna (67) from Emyvale, County Monaghan was the front seat passenger in a Toyota driven by her husband, who were travelling to visit their son in Loughgall.

Mr Kemenczei was driving a Skoda car while Mr Fejzula was the front seat passenger.

A female rear seat passenger who was badly injured, told the inquest Mr Kemenczei was a safe driver who did not speed and she believed he and Mr Fejzula were wearing seatbelts as “they always did”.

She remembered waking up in hospital but had no recollection of the accident itself.

Mrs McKenna was in the front seat of the Toyota, driven by her husband, as they travelled to visit their son in Loughgall.

Mr McKenna told the inquest his speed was about 40mph and on approaching a left-hand bend observed two or three cars coming in the opposite direction, appearing to him as driving “very fast”.

One car “lost control or tried to pass the vehicle in front” and in doing so came onto Mr McKenna’s side of the road.

He recalled hearing his wife cry out but not having time to react before the car collided with his head-on.

While unconscious for a time Mr McKenna came round realising he and his wife were being cut free from the wreckage.

Mrs McKenna was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and underwent emergency surgery.

Both were wearing seatbelts.

A witness described travelling in front of the Skoda through Moy village before the crash. On leaving the 30mph limit, the Skoda overtook at speed and high revs were heard from the engine.

Shortly after he observed it “snaking”, as the rear swung out and in before skidding sideways and ended up facing the opposite direction, colliding with the Toyota.

It was, said the witness, “completely out of control.”

Another witness described the Skoda as “flying”, and observed it lose control, swing out at the back end and spin 360 degrees.

While he did not see the actual collision into the McKenna’s Toyota, he heard the impact.

The witness checked the drivers of both vehicle’s and observed Mr McKenna obviously in pain and bleeding from his nose.

In the Skoda, Mr Kemenczei was slumped towards the door and the female was screaming hysterically in the rear.

Emergency services arrived and Mr Fejzula was removed from the vehicle and pronounced dead.

Mr Kemenczei received CPR however there was no response and he too was produced dead.

Meanwhile, Mrs McKenna was found to have multiple fractures and internal injuries. Her condition remained very unstable during emergency surgery.

She developed organ failure and rapidly deteriorated, passing away on February 5, 2019.

A forensic engineer examined both vehicles and discovered the rear tyres on the Skoda were in a “very poor road-running condition” and estimated the speed as it went out of control at 72mph, impacting with the McKenna’s car around 60mph.

He said while Mr Kemenczei had been wearing a seatbelt, it appeared Mr Fejzula and the rear passenger were not.

The coroner held Mr Kemenczei and Mr Fejzula died from multiple injuries.

She found Mrs McKenna died as a result of multiple injuries and complications which flowed from the collision.

Passing on her condolences to the victim’s families Miss Dougan said: “It is clear to me how loved each of the deceased were. They lost their lives in tragic circumstances. I hope in time, these findings may in some small measure help come to terms with loss.”

Following the incident advanced warning signs on the stretch of road were changed and an additional advisory maximum speed of 30mph. A further sign warning of a sharp deviation has also been added.”

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