Northern Ireland

Parents of Ryan Cox weep as details on his death outlined in court

Ryan Cox Image copyright Ex BBC Newsline
Image caption Ryan Cox died aged 18 month and his mother was seriously injured in the County Fermanagh crash in 2013

The parents of a toddler wept silently as a court heard their baby boy died from whiplash-type injuries to his spine when his mother's car was in a collision with another vehicle.

That car was driven by former University of Ulster student, John Fahy, 25, from Groagagh, Grange in County Sligo.

He denies careless driving causing the death of 19-month-old Ryan John Cox on the Boa Island Road in Fermanagh on 14 January 2013.

The architectural student, who blames baby Ryan's mother Katriona for the tragic accident, also denies causing her grievously bodily injury through careless driving.

Mrs Cox and her husband Peter held hands in court on Friday, comforting one and other, weeping quietly in the public gallery as Mr Fahy's trial at Dungannon Crown Court was told that despite six hours of "intensive treatment" in the then South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen, baby Ryan was pronounced dead.

A post mortem examination carried out two days later in Belfast revealed the cause of the toddler's death was swelling and bruising of the spinal cord brought on by injuries to the cervical spine in his neck.

Pathologist Charlotte Randall, in a statement read to the court, reported that: "This type of spinal injury had probably been caused by an acceleration - deceleration injury to his neck as a result of the impact" of the two vehicles.

Image caption John Fahy denies causing death by driving without due care and attention

Dr Randall also reported that bruising and abrasions to the right side of Ryan's head may have been caused by him hitting his head off the head rest of his forward pointing child car seat.

The trial judge and the jury of six men and six women, heard that while staff tried to save baby Ryan, his mother was transferred, in a medically induced coma, to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry for treatment.

It was left to the baby's uncle, James Cox, to formally identify the body of his young nephew.

Image caption The crash happened near the entrance to Castle Caldwell forest park

A series of police videos, showing the Boa Island Road shortly after the accident, and later when the roadway was cleared of all debris, was played to the court.

The four videos, two before and two after, depicted the approach, from both Mr Fahy's and Mrs Cox's point of view, to the point of impact near the entrance to Castle Caldwell Forest Park.

The case continues.

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