A driver who struck a Ryanair flight attendant as she crossed the road outside an airport was distracted when he sent a text to his partner about their child's nappy.
Cinzia Ceravolo, 36, died on Friday, August 26, 2022, four days after she was hit by a Ford Focus being driven by Kieran Cooney, 31. The Ryanair cabin crew member was returning home after two days away with work and had arrived back into Liverpool John Lennon Airport on a flight from Dublin shortly after 11.15pm on Monday, August 22, 2022.
Liverpool Crown Court heard on Thursday, December 14, that Cooney was driving back to his partner's house when he hit Ms Ceravolo as she crossed the road.
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An investigation found that the dad-of-one had used his phone seconds before he hit Ms Ceravolo. Moments before the crash, Cooney had received two text messages from his partner, one regarding their child's nappy, and he had sent a one-word reply saying "really".
This was enough of a distraction for Cooney not to see Ms Ceravolo. The court heard one other text message was sent after the crash, reports the Echo.
Henry Riding, prosecuting, told the court Cooney had "taken a line of cocaine" at a Coldplay concert in London on the Saturday before the incident. However, a fitness drug test, designed to reflect zero tolerance, showed the drugs did not impair the 31-year-old's driving.
Mr Riding added that a witness had seen Ms Ceravolo crossing the road "more slowly than expected" and "slightly diagonal" at the crossing.
Mr Riding said: "The pedestrian [Ms Ceravolo] may or may not have been using her phone as she crossed the road. Ms Ceravolo had requested a taxi to collect her from that area. However, the taxi driver arrived earlier and after waiting departed.
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"There is high probability the victim was on her phone to see where the taxi driver was, but we do not know for sure."
The court heard how it was the responsibility of the driver to be aware of their surroundings. Cooney was not speeding in the 40mph zone and investigations found he was driving at around 36 to 37mph. The road was clear at the time and illuminated by streetlights and Cooney's Ford Focus was found to not have any defects.
The court heard that in March 2021 Cooney was stopped by police for being "not in proper control of a motor vehicle" and found to be holding a phone.
He was using it as a satnav and was allowed to attend an awareness course.
Judge Andrew Menary KC jailed Cooney for three years for death by dangerous driving and he was banned from driving for six and half years.
The judge said Cooney caused the death of Ms Ceravolo due to being "distracted" by "mundane messages" he had received and the one he sent.
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