Horse racing trainer Aidan Fitzgerald told the inquest he had no time to brake before the car hit a 10-year-old boy

Horse racing trainer Aidan Fitzgerald told an inquest he had no time to brake before a fatal collision that left a 10-year-old boy dead.

Adam Lyons, 10, from Borris in County Carlow was fatally injured in the crash near his home two years ago while cycling with friends.

Mr Fitzgerald said the bicycle being driven by the victim suddenly left a secondary road at a T-junction and instantly collided with his vehicle.

Mr Fitzgerald, a former amateur jockey who trains horses at his stables in Ballymartin, Borris, Co Carlow, said he managed to stop his Toyota Land Cruiser a few yards away as he thought it was only moving at a speed of 20 km/h to the point of impact.

An inquest by Dublin District Coroner’s Court on Wednesday heard that Adam Lyons, 10, died while being held in the arms of his mother, Heather, surrounded by family at Children’s Health Ireland Temple Street in Dublin on June 25, 2020.

The schoolboy from Ballymartin Upper, Borris, Co Carlow had been airlifted earlier in the day from the scene of the crash by an Air Corps helicopter to be transferred to hospital in Dublin due to the severity of his injuries.

Mr Fitzgerald said he was returning from a visit to a field he rented in the area with his two daughters, Rosie and Millie, at the time of the incident.

Aidan Fitzgerald leaves Dublin Coroner’s Court

He told the inquest that shortly before the fatal collision he had pulled his vehicle into the roadside to allow three girls on bicycles to pass. One of the girls was Adam’s sister, Ava.

Mr Fitzgerald said the cyclist did not land on the bonnet of his SUV and Adam’s head did not make contact with the vehicle as he swerved to try to avoid hitting the boy .

He also described how he and another man who arrived on the scene attempted to resuscitate Adam using CPR before emergency services arrived.

Asked by Adam’s father Eddie if he could have gotten the speed wrong, Mr Fitzgerald said he stopped “pretty quickly”.

“It only took a few meters to stop. I know I wasn’t going fast. I don’t drive fast,” he added.

In a statement, one of Adam’s friends, David Cass, described how, along with another friend, Seán Dalton, they went to a friend’s house to pick up a game controller.

David said that he and Seán stopped when they reached the crossroads, but Adam “kept on”.

The boy described how his friend found himself lying on the ground by the wall as his bike was “ripped to pieces”.

The inquest heard an inspection of Mr Fitzgerald’s vehicle revealed it had a few minor faults but nothing that contributed to the fatal collision, while Adam’s bike was in good mechanical condition.

A forensic collision investigator, Garda Maurice Mahon, said it was not possible to estimate the speed of the vehicle or bicycle at the point of impact.

Garda collision investigation forensic expert Maurice Mahon leaves Dublin Coroner’s Court

Garda Mahon said road users would have a very limited view of traffic on the other road approaching the T-junction, while there were no road markings or “stop” signs.

He said Adam probably hit the wall from the impact or a rock on the ground next to the wall.

Garda Seán Delaney, who led an investigation into the collision, said Mr Fitzgerald passed a breathalyzer test, while an examination of his mobile phone showed it was not in use at the time of the fatal incident .

The witness said he took the route taken by Mr. Fitzgerald himself and that the time it took corroborated the evidence given by the motorist.

Garda Delaney said it appeared Adam only had a quick look at the vehicle as there was only a light scratch on the bike’s handlebar cover.

Garda Sean Delaney leaves Dublin Coroner’s Court

The court heard that Mr Fitzgerald had been convicted and fined for not having a valid NCT certificate at the time of the collision, but there had been no criminal charges relating to the accident itself .

Garda Delaney said it was one of the toughest cases he had dealt with in over 20 years as a garda and he acknowledged the entire community in the Ballymartin area was in shock at the death of Adam.

The inquest heard that Adam died from multiple traumatic injuries resulting from the collision, including a collapsed lung, a fractured left femur and severe internal bleeding.

Returning a verdict of accidental death, the coroner, Dr Clare Keane, expressed his condolences to Adam’s parents and family for “a most shocking accident which has affected so many”.

Noting that it would have been Adam’s 12th birthday next week, Dr Keane said: ‘It’s a heartbreaking loss. There are no words to say.

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