DUTCH DRIVER’S REMORSE

Strain family meet with

driver at Courthouse

The man who caused the death of teacher Alice Strain in a road traffic accident on April 4th last met with three sisters of the deceased prior to his court appearance on a charge of dangerous driving causing death and serious injury.

Dutch courier driver Frans Coenraad, who pleaded guilty to the offences, met members of the Dungarvan teacher’s family during an emotional encounter in Waterford Courthouse last week.

Mr Coenraad had placed bouquets of flowers on the roadside when he visited the accident scene at Ballyduff, Kilmeaden, when he returned to Ireland to answer his bail.

Upon learning of his gestures of remorse, Ms Strain’s (45) heartbroken family expressed a wish to meet him.

Waterford Circuit Court heard that the meeting of both parties was “without rancour”,  highlighting the “dignity and generosity of spirit of the Strain family”.

In a letter to the Strain family and the deceased’s fiancé, Pat Crowley, who was seriously injured in the accident, Frans Coenraad said it was difficult for him to find the right words to express his sympathy because their grief at the death of their daughter couldn’t be expressed in words.
“Every day I am reminded of that and I realise now how all our lives have changed,” he wrote.

“Even though I know it was an accident, it grieves and hurts me a lot. Not a day passes that I do not relive the accident in my mind and wish that it had all gone differently.”

Frans Coenraad was fined €1000 for causing the fatal accident, while Judge Pauline Codd directed that the defendant’s €4000 cash bail bond be donated to the St Vincent de Paul Society, Ms Strain’s favourite charity. See News 2 and 12 for more

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