78-year-old pensioner tried to walk faster before fatal collision
Published: 20 Sep 2012 13:00
An inquest into the death of Mrs. Kitty Gault of 21, Hillview Park Enniskillen heard that Mrs. Gault was one of four pedestrians who stepped out on a crossing when the traffic lights were green to vehicular traffic.
Two pedestrians made it to the other side. Another, a young girl, jumped back as the bus approached but Mrs. Gault tried to speed up. She was struck by the bus 1.3 metres from the kerb and died later that day in the Erne Hospital, October 26, 2011, from head injuries.
Harrowing evidence was heard at the inquest as witnesses to the accident recalled the fatal accident.
Olivia McGovern was waiting to cross Wellington Road that Wednesday morning, along with Mrs. Gault and seven others.
"The old lady was standing in front of these people at the edge of the road waiting to cross the road. The little red man was illuminated. I observed the old woman step out on the road to cross. A young female also left the footpath. I heard the screech of brakes coming from a bus travelling from the Sligo Road direction and the sounding of the horn. I heard this four to five times," she told the inquest.
"I heard the young female scream and observed her jump back. I then observed the old woman attempt to walk faster across the road. The bus impacted with the woman. The old woman hit her head off the windscreen of the bus. It was a loud bang. I heard the smash of the front windscreen. The impact caused the old woman to travel up the road approximately five feet. A crowd gathered around the old woman. Nobody gave first aid. A traffic warden placed his coat over the woman on the road. I did not think the bus was travelling fast," she said.
She agreed the woman had walked against the warning light.
Jackie McCabe, who was at the front of the bus en route to visit her father in Belfast, recalled: "We were driving up towards Toytown and some young lad went across the road to Mauds. When the bus was level with Toytown another young person, a girl with short dark hair, ran across the road.
"I noticed the light was green for the bus to go through. We were about level with Toytown and I noticed an old lady running across the road. She must have thought it was a green light because of the people in front of her. The bus driver slammed on the brakes. When I realised the lady was going to hit the windscreen I screamed. The driver tried to get the bus stopped but could not.
"The lady hit the window screen and smashed it. I saw the lady getting thrown up in the air and forward. I then covered my eyes and shouted 'Oh God'. The bus came to a stop and I was thrown into a bar and a sheet of hard plastic."
She was "badly shaken" after the accident and tearfully agreed with Coroner John Leckey that it was "very upsetting".
Evidence from a camera on the bus showed that the double decker was just one minute and two seconds into its journey from Enniskillen bus station to Belfast when the accident occurred. The driver was not at fault and there were no defects to either the bus or the traffic signals.
Mr. Keith Carlisle, a mechanical engineer at the road traffic investigation unit, examined the CCTV on the bus. It offered him information to give a second-by-second analysis of the journey.
His examination showed that the bus left the Ulsterbus station at 10.54 and 25 seconds and impacted with Mrs. Gault at 10.55 and 27 seconds.
The camera picked up four pedestrians who crossed the road while the traffic lights showed green. Two reached the footpath at the other side. One pedestrian stopped at the dashed line and the other was "impacted".
"At 10.55 and 24 seconds, two people became visible [on the CCTV footage]. These people became visible from behind a van travelling in lane two in the Sligo-bound lanes. At 10.55 and 25 to 26 seconds, the bus decelerates causing a suitcase on a shelf to fall forward. This is presumably due to severe braking.
"At 10.55 and 26 seconds, one of these people stops at the centre line and the carriageway. The second continues to cross the road at a hurried pace. At 10.55 and 27 seconds she is struck by the front of the bus and projected along Wellington Road," he said.
Mrs. Gault was struck about 1.3 metres from the footpath. There were no defects with the pelican crossing and no defects to the anti-lock brakes and steering in the bus. He said when Mrs. Gault was knocked down, the traffic light was in favour of the Ulsterbus.
The Coroner, Mr. John Leckey said: "Mrs. Gault did something all of us have done from time to time, crossing against a red light. It is a salutory warning to everyone to obey the warning signs at pedestrian crossings."
The inquest found that Mrs. Gault died of subdural and subarachnoid haemorrhage associated with bruising of brain and fracture of skull.
Get more stories from our Roundup section
9 Mar 2014 22:00 • Rodney Edwards
THERE is a “very strong possibility” that human trafficking is taking place in Fermanagh.
9 Mar 2014 19:30 • Lily Dane
A geophysical survey will be completed over coming weeks on the Queen Anne site at Castle Coole, Enniskillen, where a newly opened Lake Walk extension, lined with captivating snowdrops, is proving a welcome development.
9 Mar 2014 16:02
Fermanagh's goal now will be to avoid relegation after defeat to Roscommon today at Brewster Park ended any hopes of promotion.
9 Mar 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department
SINN Fein Councillor Stephen Huggett said he hoped a fellow councillor would place a ‘bomb’ underneath the Housing Executive during a meeting of Fermanagh District Council.
9 Mar 2014 11:30 • Lily Dane
Sheelin Lace London, which recently opened in the capital city, is an expansion of the specialised Fermanagh business, Sheelin Lace.
9 Mar 2014 09:00 • Editorial Department
A 26-year-old disqualified driver who narrowly missed hitting a pedestrian while fleeing from police has been warned he could be jailed for 10 months.
8 Mar 2014 19:00 • Editorial Department
Roscommon come calling to Enniskillen this Sunday and put their 100 percent record on the line against a Fermanagh side who will still be reeling from last weekend’s defeat to Longford in which they threw away a nine point lead at Pearse Park.
8 Mar 2014 17:30
Cliftonville proved too strong for Ballinamallard at Solitude today as they ran out 5-0 winners to maintain their push to retain the Gibson Cup.
8 Mar 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan
The news that the Education Minister John O’Dowd has accepted Enniskillen Integrated Primary School’s Development Proposal, allowing an increase in year one pupils from 30-56, was being celebrated in style last Friday.
8 Mar 2014 13:00 • Meadhbh Monahan
There were emotional scenes in a Derrylin hair salon last Friday as 10-year-old Katie Corrigan had 10 inches of her beautiful blonde hair cut off.
8 Mar 2014 10:00 • Brian Donaldson
With the 100th anniversary of the First World War being commemorated this year, there are many events throughout the county to mark this historic event.
7 Mar 2014 22:05
Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath has made two changes to his starting team from the side that started against Longford against last Sunday
7 Mar 2014 21:30 • Editorial Department
A shoplifting couple caught stealing clothes from a number of shops in Enniskillen “hope to start afresh” in Belfast.
7 Mar 2014 19:00 • Editorial Department
Ballinamallard United are in for a busy few days with two big games in three days coming up.
7 Mar 2014 15:00
Fermanagh Trust @FermanaghTrust Taxes do NOT cover the cost of Children’s Hospice @NIHospice but do fund play parks, business support services, airport hangars, etc WHY?
7 Mar 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department
ROARING engines and squealing tyres may become a thing of the past in Hollyhill link car park after Fermanagh District Council teamed up with the PSNI and Road Service to tackle the problem.
7 Mar 2014 11:50 • Editorial Department
Police are releasing an efit image based on a description of a man they would like to speak to.
7 Mar 2014 11:00 • Lily Dane
Pictured 50 years ago are Mrs. Florence Carrothers, Saloon, Ballinamallard (on right) and Miss Dorrie Foy, of Wheathill, Derrygonelly, who share the Hassard Cup as they were equal in gaining the greatest number of points in the home baking section of the County Show.
7 Mar 2014 10:00 • Rodney Edwards
SINN Fein’s Phil Flanagan (pictured) has described the behaviour of some financial institutions as “disgraceful” after he was charged £168 for four failed direct debit payments by his bank.
7 Mar 2014 09:25
Holders Enniskillen Town Utd will have to overcome Junior Cup semi-finalists Lisnarick if they are to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Impartial Reporter Mulhern Cup.