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'She never loved you,' mother tells man cleared of killing her daughter in car crash

Independent.ie logo Independent.ie 15/12/2016 Greg Harkin

Kym Harley had just turned 19 when she died in the crash © Provided by Irish Independent Kym Harley had just turned 19 when she died in the crash There were emotional scenes when a man accused of killing his girlfriend in a road traffic incident was found not guilty of causing her death by dangerous driving at the direction of the judge. Kym Harley's distraught mother Denise told Gary O'Donnell that her daughter never loved him following the acquittal.

Mr O'Donnell (22) had pleaded not guilty to causing the death of the 19-year-old in a single-vehicle crash close to her home at Drennan, Ballybofey, in October 2014.

Mr O'Donnell, from Steeple View, Dunwiley, Stranorlar, told gardaí in an interview he had swerved to avoid a collision with two dogs.

He also admitted he may have been going faster than the speed limit but did not believe it was "serious speed".

d ended up on its roof. Kym, who had turned 19 days earlier, died at the scene.

The court had heard a claim by Mr O'Donnell that the couple had split up after an 18-month relationship but had got back together on the evening before the 4.15am crash on October 14.

Garda forensic collision expert Sgt John McFadden said speed had been the cause of the crash and that skid marks on the road were caused after Mr O'Donnell's car lost control. However, defence expert Dr Mark Jordan said the 46.3m-long marks left on the road may not have been left by Mr O'Donnell's car at all.

He said a gap of 7.5m between the first marks and a second set of road marks led him to conclude that it was "more than likely left by another vehicle".

Dr Jordan accepted the second set of straight tyre marks were inconsistent with an O'Donnell admission to gardaí that his car had swerved.

Judge John O'Hagan accepted a defence application to withdraw the case from the jury on grounds of insufficient evidence and instructed the jury to return a not guilty verdict.

As the case concluded, Ms Harley's mother Denise approached Mr O'Donnell and said: "She never loved you, she was never getting back with you."

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