tragic incident | 

Irish mum admits causing deaths of two of her children in horrific motorway crash

Mary McCann was driving on the M1 with her kids Smaller (10) and four-year-old Lilly in the back seat when the car crashed into a lorry

Mary McCann (35) Photo: Thames Valley Police

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

An Irish mother has admitted causing the deaths of two of her children in a horror motorway crash in England.

Mary McCann (35) of Bamford Avenue, Derby, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink.

The charges relate to the crash on the M1 motorway near Aylesbury in August last year.

McCann was driving on the M1 with her kids Smaller (10) and four-year-old Lilly in the back seat when the car crashed into a lorry.

The two children were killed instantly in the August 9 incident.

McCann was injured but survived, as did her two-year-old daughter.

Another daughter, aged 13, was not in the car at the time.

The driver of the lorry was not injured.

McCann was subsequently charged with two charges of causing death by dangerous driving – but failed to turn up at court in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire for her first appearance.

She later handed herself in to authorities after a hunt was launched for her, amid fears she had fled to Ireland.

Judge Francis Sheridan said he pitied the police who had rushed to the scene.

He added: “Who would want to be a member of the roads policing unit having to attend scenes like this? I don’t know how they do it.”

McCann, who was wearing a bright pink T-shirt and a large necklace, watched as her defence barrister, Laban Leake, asked Judge Sheridan to delay her sentencing so that a psychiatric report could be prepared.

The judge added that he wanted to know how many other children McCann had, before considering her sentence.

The accused was remanded in custody and is due to appear again at Aylesbury Crown Court for sentencing on April 25.

Commenting after the court hearing, investigating officer Sgt Dominic Mahon, of the area’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Bicester, said: “This was a tragic incident in which two young children lost their lives.

“My thoughts remain with their family at this incredibly difficult time. Thankfully they will not have to go through the ordeal of a trial due to McCann’s guilty pleas today.”

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