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Road horror Family of man killed in deadly crash after driver filmed Snapchat videos tell of devastation

"The garda started describing Bryan's features - his clothes, his hair"

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Keith Lennon with an address in Forest Park, Dromintee, Co. Armagh, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of three people

Keith Lennon with an address in Forest Park, Dromintee, Co. Armagh, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of three people

Keith Lennon with an address in Forest Park, Dromintee, Co. Armagh, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of three people

The family of a man killed when the driver of a car he was in crashed after filming a Snapchat video at 225kph have told how Garda gave them a “live commentary” as his body was identified.

Bryan Magill (24) was killed in the horror two-car collision at Carrickarnon, Ravensdale, Dundalk, Co Louth in the early hours of February 29 last year.

He was the back seat passenger in a 3-litre Audi driven by Keith Lennon when the 21-year-old from Co Armagh drove into the back of another car at high speed.

In the ensuing carnage, mother and son Mary (82) and Kevin (58) Faxton from Bessbrook who were in the other car, were both killed.

Magill, from Newry, who had only met Lennon for first time that evening was left dying in the back seat of his car.

Lennon fled the scene but handed himself into Dundalk Garda station the next day and was later jailed for nine years.

Recalling the morning of the smash, Francis Harte, the partner of Bryan Magill's mother Yvonne Magee, told the BBC how the family listened as a Garda on the other end of the phone confirmed Bryan’s death.

"I made a phone call to Drogheda hospital and got speaking to a garda,” Mr Harte said. “I had the phone on speaker. The whole house was full of the family. The brothers, sisters, mum and dad.

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Mother and son Mary (82) and Kevin (58) Faxton from Bessbrook (left) and Bryan Magill (24) were all killed in the horror two-car collision in the early hours of February 29 last year. 

Mother and son Mary (82) and Kevin (58) Faxton from Bessbrook (left) and Bryan Magill (24) were all killed in the horror two-car collision in the early hours of February 29 last year. 

Mother and son Mary (82) and Kevin (58) Faxton from Bessbrook (left) and Bryan Magill (24) were all killed in the horror two-car collision in the early hours of February 29 last year. 

"Basically we got a live commentary of Bryan in the morgue and him getting identified.

"The garda started describing Bryan's features - his clothes, his hair.

"Every sentence that he uttered we knew and then he said they found a bank card in his pocket and after that it was bedlam. Nobody knew what to do."

Lennon’s court hearing was told how Kevin Faxton was driving his mother Mary home after they had gone for a spin because she suffered from depression and going out in the car benefitted her.

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Yvonne Campbell whose mother and brother died in the crash, said her father "couldn't live without" his wife and son.

"Around about half-six in the morning my brother Malcolm rang and said Daddy was very distressed," she said.

"Mummy and Kevin went out for a spin and hadn't come home. So of course we all arrived over at Daddy's - he only lives a minute away.

"We knew there was something wrong. We rang their mobiles.

"At around eight, my brother-in-law rang to say there had been a bad accident up by the Carrickdale and we just sort of knew then.

"Daddy's health just deteriorated. He just couldn't live without them. It just broke his heart every day. He cried every day.

"It's just sad that in the last year of his life… he's only dead six or seven weeks now. He just wanted to be with them."

In December 2020 Lennon pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter and in February 2021 he was sentenced to nine years in prison with another 12 months suspended. He also received a 20-year driving ban.

The judge said this was one of the worst cases she had ever heard but the families were disappointed with the sentence handed down.

"There is no sentence ever going to bring them back," said Yvonne Campbell.

"But I honestly believe that he should have got 10 years for every life that he took."

Francis Harte added: "She did hand down a 20-year driving ban but people like that should not be able to get on the road again ever," he said.

Lennon is appealing his sentence but no date has been set for that hearing.

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