Family of Fermanagh crash victim say they’re living “with a life sentence”

Two men who caused the death of a Fermanagh woman two years ago have been jailed.

29 year old Padraig Toher from Bawnboy in Cavan and 23 year old Nathan Phair from Castlebalfour Park in Lisnaskea appeared in Court today.

23 year old mother of one Natasha Carruthers was killed when the car she was in hit a tree near Derrylin on 7 October 2017.

The driver, Nathan Phair, was trying to flee from a man he double-crossed in a drugs deal.

He was given an 11-year-sentence after being convicted of dangerous driving causing death.

Padraig Toher was sentenced to 12 years after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Half of the sentences will be served in prison, with the remainder under supervised licence.

Mr Toher was banned from driving for 10 years and Mr Phair was banned for 15 years.

The crash was initially thought to have been a tragic accident.

It followed a 12-mile car chase during which the cars reached speeds of 100mph and made contact with each other numerous times.

During Nathan Phair’s trial he insisted he bore no responsibility for Ms Carruthers death and denied he was a drug dealer.

He was found guilty by a jury in September of dangerous driving causing death, causing grievous bodily injury to a second passenger, driving while unfit and possessing and supplying cocaine.

Padraig Toher was the driver of the second car.

He admitted manslaughter after his car made deliberate contact causing death.

He also pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to possess cocaine.

The family of Natasha Carruthers have said they “have to live with a life sentence” after her death.

In a statement read outside Court this afternoon, they said she died from horrific injuries because of the “selfish actions of Padraig Toher and Nathan Phair”.

They also thanked people who heard the crash and came to help, as well as the emergency services.

Detective Chief Inspector Eamon Corrigan read a statement from the Carruthers family outside Court today: