’His screams stayed with me’: Woman sued for damages after witnessing husband trapped in car

A mother of four left traumatised after coming on the scene of a road accident in which her severely injured husband was trapped in his car has settled her High Court action.

Emma Nolan who heard the screams of her husband, Alan as emergency personnel tried to free him and then travelled in a helicopter with him as he was airlifted to hospital had claimed she was a secondary victim in the accident two years ago.

Emma Nolan outside the High Court today. Picture: Courtpix 

Her counsel Bruce Antoniotti SC told the High Court Alan Nolan was driving neat Ballythomas, Co Wexford when there was a head on collision with a landrover.

Counsel said the driver of the landrover was checking the volume on her radio when her vehicle collided with Mr Nolan’s car.

Emma Nolan, Loggan Upper, Wingfield, Gorey, Co Wexford had sued the other driver Pearl Stephenson, Ballythomas Hill, Gorey, Co Wexford as a result of the accident on July 9, 2015.

It was claimed Mrs Nolan was a secondary victim, witnessed her husband’s pain and screams and suffered nervous shock. She claimed she witnessed her husband suffering life threatening injuries in the accident which saw Ms Stephenson’s car embedded in Alan Nolan’s car.

The case was before the court for assessment of damages only.

In evidence, Mrs Nolan said when she got a call there had been an accident, she drove to the scene near her home. When she got to her husband’ s car, she saw he was trapped with the dashboard pushed on to his legs. At one stage she said smoke came from the car.

" I was trying to calm Alan down. He was in pain. It was my first time to witness an accident. Smoke started to come out of the car and everybody was getting worried," she said.

She said when the emergency services arrived and tried to free Alan, he was screaming.

"His screams stayed with me." she said.

She said she travelled in the helicopter with her husabnd when he was airlifted from the scene and was by his side in intensive care and in hospital for thirteen days afterwards.

Mrs Nolan said they were just normal people and the accident had changed their lives.

She said she thinks of the accident every day.

Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon said from observing Mrs Nolan in the witness box, she could she she was a very traumatised lady.

"She has suffered", the judge said.

When the case resumed in the afternoon, the judge was told the case had been settled and could be struck out.

Ms Justice O’Hanlon wished the Nolans the best going forward.

- Reporting: Ann O’Loughlin  

KEYWORDS: Emma Nolan


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