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Horror crash Teen who admitted dangerous driving causing death of girl (16) says her and her family 'will always be in my prayers'

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that the car being driven by the defendant on February 19 2020 reached speeds of 119kmh in a 50kmh zone

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Kimberly O’Connor

Kimberly O’Connor

Kimberly O’Connor

A HEARTBROKEN mother said she received justice for her beloved daughter after a teen who admitted dangerous driving causing death was given four years detention.

Daniel Wyse (17) of Killiney Heights, Knocknaheeny, Cork pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Kimberly O'Connor (16) and to causing serious injury to another teenager in the car.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that the car being driven by the defendant on February 19 2020 reached speeds of 119kmh in a 50kmh zone of the residential Cork community that evening.

The defendant had no driving license, no motor insurance and had purchased the old Seat car involved via an Internet advertisement.

The car collided with a concrete pillar on Harbour View Road in Knocknaheeny - just 50m from Ms O'Connor's home - and the 16 year old girl in the front passenger seat suffered critical injuries.

Wyse had overtaken a taxi on Harbour View Road but his car clipped a kerb, then a tree, hit a utility box and a metal bollard before colliding with a concrete wall and gate pillar.

The cap on the bollard was catapulted through the window of a nearby house while another part of the bollard ended up 45m away.

Ms O'Connor was pronounced dead at the scene before she could be transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Another teenager in the car also suffered serious injuries including a fractured skull.

He initially lost the use of his limbs but has regained movement thanks to intensive physiotherapy. The boy has no recollection of the collision.

Wyse told the court he was deeply remorseful for what happened.

He also said the tragedy and the death of his friend will live with him for the rest of his life.

“Kimberly and her family will always be in my thoughts and prayers," he said via video-link.

His family expressed their deepest condolences to Kimberly's family.

The teen received a term of eight years detention but with the final four years suspended in light of his remorse and his plea.

However, Judge Seán O'Donnabháin noted that Wyse had fled the scene of the accident on the night.

He said that identifying Wyse was in the public interest - and disqualified him from driving for a period of 15 years.

The judge advised that it was in the public interest for anyone over that period who sees Wyse driving to notify the Gardaí.

Kimberly O'Connor's mother, Jennifer, said her family believed they had received justice.

She acknowledged that she had been haunted by the aftermath of the horrific collision.

The mother was in her family home that evening and heard the sound of the crash as it happened just 50m from her front door.

"I am happy enough - we got justice for Kimberly today," she said.

"It gives us a little bit of peace that we got justice for Kimberly.

She deserved to be named here today - 100pc deserved to be named."

She said that the collision was "every mother's worst nightmare."

"Kimberly was a bright, bubbly happy girl with an infectious smile.

She didn't deserve to die like that."

Both the deceased and the defendant could be identified by special order of Judge O'Donnabháin who said it was unjust not to name Ms O'Connor.

Her family had spoken of their upset at any suggestion the teenage girl should be left anonymous in the case.

Under a provision of the Children's Act - which the Government are currently reviewing - the deceased would not ordinarily be identified as she is a juvenile.

However, the judge said it was in the public interest to do so - and also allowed Wyse to be identified.

The court was told that the case was widely publicised last year with numerous public tributes being paid to Ms O'Connor who was a popular student at Terence McSwiney College and had participated in several high profile charity events.

Ms O'Connor, a Transition Year student, died when the car in which she was a passenger collided with a wall on Harbour View Road in Knocknaheeny.

At her funeral, Ms O'Connor was described by her family as "a priceless diamond and a superstar."

The Seat Toledo car was written off in the collision.

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