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Ireland Man, 84, died after driving wrong way up a motorway

17:10  01 february  2018
17:10  01 february  2018 Source:   extra.ie

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An 84 -year-old farmer died when he collided with a van after driving for some 3km on the wrong side of the Cork to Dublin motorway , an inquest has heard.

84-year-old Tom Joe O’Riordan died when he crashed into a van after completing a U-turn on a motorway 84-year-old Tom Joe O’Riordan died when he crashed into a van after completing a U-turn on a motorway

A pensioner died when he crashed into a van after completing a U-turn on a motorway and driving straight into oncoming traffic.

An inquest heard yesterday how nobody knows why 84-year-old Tom Joe O’Riordan stopped near a toll plaza on the M8 near Cork on December 30, 2016, and made the U-turn. The Coroner’s Court in Mallow heard he made the manoeuvre in a ‘controlled way’, taking the time to put on his indicator.

Nothing about his driving on that morning was in any way erratic, according to toll plaza operations manager Seán O’Donnell.

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A motorist died after driving the wrong way up a motorway and colliding with another vehicle on Saturday morning. The 55-year-old male reportedly drove against the flow of traffic in the fast lane of the A13 at about 10am.

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Pic: Provision: Tom-Joe-ORiordan-Crash-1 © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Tom-Joe-ORiordan-Crash-1

O’Riordan is said to have made the manoeuvre in a ‘controlled way’. Pic: Provision

After turning, Mr O’Riordan drove his 93-reg Isuzu Trooper 4×4 for 3.1km on the motorway despite drivers flashing their lights.

The farmer was driving north up the south-bound overtaking lane when he drove straight into a newspaper delivery van.

The impact sent his SUV into a clockwise spin, while the van smashed into the central barrier twice.

Pic: Cork Courts Limited: Tom-Joe-ORiordan © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Tom-Joe-ORiordan

84-year-old Tom Joe O’Riordan died when he crashed into a van after completing a U-turn on a motorway and drove straight into oncoming traffic. Pic: Cork Courts Limited

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Van driver Conor McCarthy was caught between an oil tanker and the central barrier and had nowhere to go moments before impact, which was at a slight bend on the M8.

Garda experts said that due to the bend, it would not have been possible for him to have seen the SUV until the last moment.

It was heard that Mr O’Riordan, who had been treated for a ‘minor cognitive impairment’ in 2011, had never travelled on the motorway before. Even when he wanted to travel by car to Cork city from his home in Ballyarra, Castlelyons, Co Cork, he would take ‘the old road’.

Pic: Provision: Tom-Joe-ORiordan-Crash-2 © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Tom-Joe-ORiordan-Crash-2

It has been reported that Tom Joe O’Riordan was not driving in an erratic manner. Pic: Provision

The jury recorded a short ‘narrative’ verdict, that ‘death occurred when Mr O’Riordan drove against the flow of traffic on the motorway resulting in a fatal collision’.

Coroner Dr Michael Kennedy said nobody knew why Mr O’Riordan had driven the wrong way along the road that day.

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