Storm Ophelia query: Father of two children killed when tree fell on car because ‘didn’t want to go to work’ during red weather alarm


The inquest into the death of a man who died after a tree fell on his vehicle during Hurricane Ophelia in 2017, during a red weather warning, has ruled an accidental death.

undalk Coroner Court was told “death is near” when a tree fell on Fintan Goss’ car as he drove home on the afternoon of October 16.

The investigator heard a large tree trunk had fallen on top of the roof and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr. Goss (33 years old), from Ballymakellett, Ravensdale, is married and has two children with his wife Pamela. He worked at a financial services firm in Dundalk that was represented in the investigation.

A company representative told the investigation that financial services are an important service and that “the government has not issued specific directives for businesses to close,” on the date mentioned.

“Therefore the company continues to be legally obligated to perform its obligations. The company did not have the ability to work from home for all employees at the time,” said Peter Callaghan, of SMT Fund Services.

He also said: “Fintan is the custodian and part of his duty is to review and sign the valuations as they are completed, which is why Fintan needs to work on the date they are approved. mention”.

The inquest was told by Hugh O’Keeffe, the Goss family’s attorney, that Mr Goss did not want to go to work that day. He also said that the designation as an important service is a “Covid designation.”

One of the first gardeners on the scene in Annaskeagh, Ravensdale, said the tree was so large that the cutting equipment used by the fire department was inappropriate and Louth County Council assisted instead.

She said the weather hampered efforts to move the vehicle, it was difficult to stay upright and it was challenging and scary and unsafe for emergency services to operate at the time.

She also said the vehicle was difficult to access due to the number and thickness of the branches and the weight of the trees that flattened the rear tire.

Another Garda, who knew Mr. Goss, identified him as the deceased and the only person in the vehicle.

Pathologist Dr John Ryan said Mr Goss suffered severe trauma to the top and bottom of his skull, along with a severe traumatic brain injury that made him unable to live.

He concluded the death was due to a severe head injury when a tree fell on his car, adding: “I can tell that death is near.”

The coroner, Ronan Maguire, returned the verdict of accidental death and he expressed his “sincere sympathies” to Mr Goss’ family, saying: “He was a bright, young man barks, is smart and works hard.”

He also expressed sympathy for the family on behalf of the company.

Speaking in 2017, his widow Pamela said Fintan texted her while he was at work, and when he was away 15 minutes later, she said she knew something had happened.

In that interview, she called for clear, unambiguous guidelines for the next Red State weather warnings that workers know to “stay at home.”

She wrote to Oireachtas members in Louth County saying such a binding set of rules would “remove confusion for employers about whether employees need to go to work or come home from work, during big storm time”. Storm Ophelia query: Father of two children killed when tree fell on car because ‘didn’t want to go to work’ during red weather alarm

Fry Electronics Team

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