€200,000 settlement for girl in Longford crash

A 12-year old girl injured in a car crash in which her sister and best friend were killed has settled her action for damages for €200,000.

A 12-year old girl injured in a car crash in which her sister and best friend were killed has settled her action for damages for €200,000.

Faith Varden-Carberry was seven years of age when her mother- who was uninsured and banned from driving- crashed in to a clay embankment outside Edgeworthstown, Co Longford five years ago.

Faith’s sister Ava(6) and her friend Michaela Logan were killed. Faith and another child were injured in the tragic accident in November 2007.

Faith’s mother Mary Carberry was later sentenced to six years imprisonment with two years suspended in relation to the accident.

In the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Charleton who ruled the settlement of Faith’s case against the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland said in terms of what happened to Faith, nothing can ever compensate her, but he hoped the tragedy in her life was now finshed and she will do well.

Speaking directly to Faith, Mr Justice Charleton said he was very sorry for everything she had been through, but he was sure she will have a great future.

Faith Varden-Carberry (12)of Clonguish Court, Newtownforbes, Co Longford, but who now lives in Tuam, Co Galway had sued through her grandfather Anthony Carberry of St Mels Road, Longford the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland.

As a result of the accident, Faith was removed to hospital after her cervical spine had been stabilised at the scene. She later underwent surgery and was transferred to Our Lady’s Childrens Hospital,Crumlin where she was treated in a spinal cast.

It is claimed Faith suffered severe psychological trauma and upset in circumstances where her sister had been killed in the accident.

Her Counsel John Finlay SC told the court that it was a particularly sad accident. Faith, who had been sitting in the back seat with her belt on suffered a spinal fracture of her lumbar vertebrae and internal injuries. She had to spend two months in a spinal cast. Counsel said she a lot to deal with as her mother was jailed. She was very resilient but she had suffered great grief. Faith, he said she now lives with her step sister Marguerite Varden in Tuam, Co Galway where she is in sixth class at school.

Ruling the settlement, Mr Justice Charelton allowed the payment out of €2,000 to purchase a computer and printer for Faith.

At an earlier hearing to decide on liability in the case, the High Court heard from Faith’s father Thomas Varden a Galway businessman that when Faith and Ava’s mother, Mary Carberry was put off the road, she put the children on the phone to him saying they were cold and wet walking the one and a half miles to school.

“It pulled at my heart strings , She was was seeking for me to provide transport , purchase a car and somebody who was insured and had a full licence would drive it,” he told the court. He said he did not want to do it but the children would come on the phone saying they were cold and wet. He said Ms Carberry was in Alcoholics Anonymous and seemed to be turning over a new leaf. He said he bought a car for €14,000 but as Ms Carberry was banned from driving, somebody else would have to drive it.

He later learned the car had been insured and Mary Carberry had signed his name to a cheque.

He said on the night of the accident he got a phonecall from Mary Carberry.

“She said Ava was dead and she thought Faith was dead too,” he said. He said when he got to the hospital he discovered Mary Carberry had been driving the car.

I was angry. I am still very angry. No way would I have given the car to her if I thought she was going to use it that way. I trusted her,”he said.