Kerry surf school owner fined $1,306 over death of American tourist

Inch Strand, County Kerry, where a mother of two from Kentucky “died a horrible death”

Offshore Surf School in County Kerry have been fined $1,306 (€1,000) for a breach of health and safety legislation which caused the death of a mother of two from Kentucky, two years ago.

The company operates schools and rents surf equipment along the Kerry coast.

One July 2, 2011, Jena Hill (58), from Springfield, Kentucky, was on a tour from Killarney. She had gone for a walk to admire the view while her husband had gone to the restaurant, the Irish Examiner reports. She was standing on the sand when a 40-foot truck struck her and reversed over her.

The Circuit Criminal Court, in Tralee heard, “She died a horrible death,” at the scene of the incident on Inch Strand.

The court also heard that the truck had no reverse alarm and its horn was not working. Investigators also found that there was an extensive blind spot where Hill was standing. No one was guiding the reversing truck.

Rowan Minjon
(25), of Castlegregory, was acquitted by a jury in June 2013 of a charge of dangerous driving causing death. Kieran Burke (43), of Carrigeendaniel, Caherslee, Tralee, owner of the Tralee based Offshore Surf School, is over limited means, the court heard.

Judge Carroll Moran said a prison sentence would be inappropriate.