Drink-driving nurse killed man, 82, in Christmas Eve hit-and-run
Drink-driving nurse, 34, who ploughed into an 82-year-old man in fatal hit-and-run Christmas Eve crash while her 15-year-old son was in the car is jailed for five years
- Nurse Katrina Mahoney ploughed into retired nurse Ron Fealey on December 24
A nurse who was more than twice the drink drive limit and ploughed into an elderly man crossing the road in a fatal hit and run on Christmas Eve before driving off has been jailed for five years.
Katrina Mahoney, 34, had gone out to buy cigarettes when she struck retired nurse and church treasurer Ron Fealey, 82, in Merthyr Tydfil, with her 15-year-old son in the car, on December 24 last year.
But mother-of-two Mahoney failed to stop driving despite her windshield being smashed and bystanders had to step into help Mr Fealey, who died days later in hospital as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
She claimed she had drunk one Malibu and Baileys, but a breathalyser test revealed she had 73mg of alcohol per 100ml breath, more than twice the drink drive limit.
Mr Fealey’s son, also a nurse, spoke of his horror at hearing the person who had run his father over and driven off ‘was drunk, a registered nurse and had her child in the car’.
Katrina Mahoney (pictured) who was more than twice the drink drive limit and ploughed into an elderly man crossing the road in a fatal hit and run on Christmas Eve before driving off has been jailed for five years
Mahoney had gone out to buy cigarettes when she struck retired nurse and church treasurer Ron Fealey (pictured), 82, in Merthyr Tydfil, with her 15-year-old son in the car, on December 24 last year
Mahoney claimed she had drunk one Malibu and Baileys, but a breathalyser test revealed she had 73mg of alcohol per 100ml breath, more than twice the drink drive limit
Mr Fealey had been at the Winchester pub in Merthyr Tyfil on the evening of the crash. He left the pub around 9.50pm and was seen on CCTV walking on the pavement.
A sentencing hearing at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Tuesday heard Mahoney’s teenage son was in the car at the time of the collision, and she dropped him off home before returning to Avenue de Clichy with a nursing friend.
Prosecutor Andrew Jones played footage of the collision, which took place around 10pm.
At the point of the crash, Mahoney was driving at 40mph in a 20mph zone and in the process of overtaking when she hit Mr Fealey. He hit the front of the vehicle and fell to the floor.
Mr Jones said: ‘The defendant collided with Mr Fealey but didn’t stop her vehicle and instead she returned to her home, leaving Mr Fealey bleeding and unconscious in the road. She had her 15-year-old son with her in the car at the time.’
Witnesses started first aid on Mr Fealey and due to a wait for an ambulance, firefighters from the nearby station assisted.
Mahoney returned to the scene 10 minutes later with her friend and spoke to a police officer.
She told the officer: ‘That’s my car yes, you can see the damage that is done. He literally just wondered in front of me. The lights were on green and he wondered into the road and I hit him.’
The officer could smell alcohol on her breath and asked her if she had been drinking, but she claimed to have only had one drink.
At the point of the crash, Mahoney was driving at 40mph in a 20mph zone and in the process of overtaking when she hit Mr Fealey
Mahoney returned to the scene 10 minutes later with her friend and spoke to a police officer, who she told: ‘That’s my car yes, you can see the damage that is done’
Mr Fealey was admitted to the Prince Charles Hospital and found to have suffered a scalp laceration and abrasions, traumatic brain injury, left subdural haemorrhage, diffuse axonal injury, internal bleeding, fractures to his vertebrae, ribs, and hip.
It was concluded the traumatic brain injury was not survivable and Mr Fealey died as a result of his injuries on December 26.
Mahoney, of Hawthorn Avenue, Gurnos, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink and drink driving.
In devastating victim personal statements read out to the court, Mr Fealey’s family expressed their grief at the loss of the much loved great-grandfather. His son Michael described how his father was initially unknown when admitted to hospital so was without family for much of his first night in hospital.
Michael Fealey, also a qualified nurse, added: ‘I was heartbroken. He had no family with him all night and we were unable to hold his hand or comfort him.
‘Imagine my horror when I found out the person who done this was drunk, a registered nurse and had her child in the car, when she left my father unconscious in the road. She didn’t even call an ambulance.’
He said his father had ‘carried his nursing values with him his whole life’, adding he struggled to accept that a nurse had knocked him down and drove off.
James Fealey, Mr Fealey’s grandson, said he was like a ‘father figure’ following the death of his own father, and described him as his ‘idol’.
Mahoney, of Hawthorn Avenue, Gurnos, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink and drink driving
A police officer could smell alcohol on Mahoney’s breath and asked her if she had been drinking, but she claimed to have only had one drink
He added: ‘For his life to end in such circumstances has left me lost and unguided. I turned to him for every piece of advice and support which has been stolen from me.’
Rachel Fealey, Mr Fealey’s granddaughter, said her grandfather could have lived for another 10 years and should have been there for the birth of her son and her wedding.
She added: ‘Our grandfather was one of the most selfless people, helping others and was well known in Merthyr. This woman robbed the town of this man.’
In a letter written to the court, Mahoney said: ‘I think about (Mr Fealey) and his family every day, all I see is this man hitting the car. I know what grief feels like and knowing I have impacted grief upon another family breaks my heart.
‘I will never forgive myself for what I have done and I’d like the family to know I am so sorry. If I could take it away I would take it away in a heartbeat because I know how they are feeling.’
Sentencing, Judge Lucy Crowther said: ‘Mr Fealey was a much loved family man. A husband, a father, a brother, grandfather and great grandfather. They struggle to understand how you could have possibly left him in the road. You have changed their lives for the worst.’
In mitigation, Tim Evans said Mahoney had struggled with her mental health during the Christmas period following the death of her mother, best friend, and two of her brothers. The court heard she discovered her mother hanging on the day of her best friend’s funeral.
Mahoney was sentenced to five years imprisonment, and will serve half the sentence in custody before she is released on licence. She was also disqualified from driving for seven-and-a-half years.
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