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Crash inquest witnesses fail to show 29.09.08

A CORONER was forced to adjourn an inquest into the death of an Inishowen crash victim on Friday after the driver convicted of causing her death and two other witnesses failed to show.
Dr John Madden had to adjourn the inquest into the death of Carndonagh woman Alice Mullan, 20, who died along with her friend Kelly Doherty, also 20, in an accident at Ballyargus, Redcastle, in the early hours of March 19, 2005. Ms Mullan died at the scene while Ms Doherty died several hours later in hospital.
Dr Madden said it would be "pointless" to proceed with the inquest without the evidence of three witnesses including Louise Cantwell, 24, a beautician from Gortlarry, Carndonagh who was found guilty by a jury in May of dangerous driving causing the two deaths. She walked free from court on July 28, 2008, after receiving A memorial marks the spot of the 2005 crash.
a three-year suspended sentence and a five-year driving ban. The judge said he could find no aggravating circumstances such as excessive speed, recklessness or "girl-racing" that would justify a custodial sentence.
At the July sentencing, both families said their pain had been worsened because Louise Cantwell had never expressed remorse for the tragedy.
Another witness who failed to show up at Carndonagh Coroner's Court were Rhona Moran who was driving the car Ms Cantwell struck as she came around the sweeping right-hand bend and strayed into the wrong carriageway. Paul McLaughlin who was a passenger in another car travelling behind Ms Cantwell’s vehicle, and who attended the victim at the scene, also failed to appear. Dr Madden thanked the witnesses who did show up including Patricia Logue who was driving the car in which Mr McLaughlin was a passenger.
After waiting a half-hour for the witnesses to show, Dr Madden apologised to the Mullan family and said he would have to adjourn the case. "I'm afraid three witnesses have chosen for one reason or another not to show up. It shows, at the very least, a thoughtlessness for the family and everybody else involved in this case," said Dr Madden. Summonses were issued for the three to appear at the rescheduled inquest on October 10.
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