An inquest was held at the Lurgan Union Workhouse yesterday, by Mr. Eric Doogan, Deputy Coroner for North Armagh, touching the death of Miss Mary Francey, a typist, aged 28, of Corcreaney, near Lurgan, which occurred in the Lurgan Infirmary Wednesday evening as the result of motor collision on the previous evening while pillion riding at Gibson’s Hill, near Lurgan.
Head Constable Duffy, Banbridge, conducted the inquiry on behalf of the Crown, and Mr. W. Lewis appeared on behalf of the driver of the other motor cycle, Mr. Samuel Seawright. Mrs. Daisy Hobbs, Lurgan, a cousin, gave evidence of identification. Archibald Johnston, Church View, Ballydougan, Portadown, deposed that on Tuesday evening he was riding a motor bicycle, with Miss Gibson on the pillion. When about to cross the main Lurgan-Gilford road towards Lurgan the witness noticed another cyclist coming with a passenger, who sounded his horn twice, was travelling about 10 or 12 miles an hour in the centre of the road. The witness believed he could get clear, but a collision took place. The other cyclist was not going very fast, much about the same speed as witness. He did not hear a horn blown by the other cyclist. The three men rendered all the assistance they could to the deceased woman, who was removed to Lurgan Hospital. To Mr. Lewis. The other cyclist did all he possibly could to avoid a collision. The deceased woman was holding on to the witness, with her arms around his waist when the accident occurred and had not her hands in her pocket.
William Hewitt, Toberhuney, who was riding pillion with Samuel Seawright, said they were travelling at a rate of about 12 miles per hour on the left-hand side of the road when the collision took place. Seawright sounded his horn twice coming to the cross roads. Witness did not see the other motor-bicycle until about two yards off. They swerved slightly towards each other.
To Mr. Lewis—He did not hear Johnston's horn. The deceased woman, who had an overcoat on, had her hands in her pockets resting on her knees just before the collision took place.
Sergeant Begley, R.U.C., Waringstown. said the accident occurred on the right centre of the road. The hedges the latter were 5 feet high.
Dr. Mary M. Robson deposed that the deceased woman was in an unconscious condition, suffer from a fracture of the base of the skull and a small abrasion on the right knee when admitted the infirmary. She never regained consciousness, and died on Wednesday evening as result of the injuries.
Samuel Seawright stated that he was travelling about 10 or 12 miles per hour when he arrived at the crossroads. Witness sounded his horn twice on the top of the hill, and he did not hear a horn sounded by anyone else. Johnston crossing the Gilford road in front of witness and seemed to pull slightly to the right, and witness did likewise. Witness did every thing possible to avoid a collision. He had not time to see what position the deceased was in prior to the occurrence.
The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony, and expressed their sympathy with the relatives of the deceased. Subsequently Samuel of Toberhuney, near Lurgan, was brought up on the charge of manslaughter at a special court in Lurgan before Major Greer. Head-Constable Duffy, Banbridge, applied for a remand, which was granted, the accused being allowed bail.