Man jailed after a 36-year-old woman sadly died in a collision in Liverpool

A man from Liverpool has been jailed for killing a 36-year-old air stewardess in a collision in August last year near John Lennon Airport.
Kieran Cooney, aged 31, of Blackrod Avenue in Speke was sentenced to three years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court today (Thursday 14 December). Due to Cooney’s guilty plea the Judge deducted the jail term from four to three years.  A six and half year driving disqualification was also imposed. 

At around 11.45pm on Monday 22 August 2022, emergency services were called to Hale Road at the junction with John Lennon Airport access road to reports of a collision involving a Ford Focus and a female pedestrian.
The pedestrian, 36-year-old Cinzia Ceravolo, from South Liverpool, was taken to hospital with head injuries and sadly died on 26 August.
Italian national Cinzia, who was an air stewardess with Ryanair, lived in the UK for the past five years.
She had been returning from two days away with work and had arrived into Liverpool airport on Ryanair flight FR448 from Dublin at 11.20pm that night.
Cooney provided a positive roadside test for cocaine after the incident, was arrested by police and later charged. The investigation then revealed that Cooney had also been using his mobile phone whilst driving towards the airport just before the collision.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Constable Jack Hearnden from Merseyside Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “Cinzia’s family have been devastated by the events of Monday 22nd August last year. Whilst Cinzia lived and worked in the UK her family had remained in Southern Italy. 

“The family had to travel in the immediate aftermath to spend the last moments with Cinzia making difficult decisions for her organs to be donated. For this she received the Order of St John in September this year which the family are so proud of the fact Cinzia was still able to help others. They have been supported throughout following their return to Italy but due to personal circumstance and health they have unfortunately been unable to travel for sentence but have remained involved throughout. 

“In a statement Cinzia’s mother Marisa said: “We were told that Cinzia would not be able to recover from her injuries so we did what she would have wanted, we made sure her organs could give life to other people.

She then said: “He did not only destroy Cinzia’s life but that of a whole family, and many friends and relatives mourn her because she was a special human being, a generous woman who gave life to three English boys with her donated organs.”

Detective Constable Jack Hearnden said: “This collision goes to highlight the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving and driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.  

“In this case, sending a text message containing a single word was enough of a distraction that Mr Cooney did not see the pedestrian crossing the road. That single word message combined with the fact that Cooney had illicit drugs in his blood cost Cinzia her life.  

“Mr Cooney’s young family now no longer have him at home for Christmas which is a small penalty to pay in comparison with the life sentence imposed on the Ceravolo family.  

“Since the 20th November Merseyside Police have been participating in the national Operation Limit, targeting drivers under the influence or alcohol and drugs.  So far 357 drivers have been arrested for these offences and the events of August 2022 go to show that any single one of these offences could have resulted in a fatality.  

“Drug driving and drink driving shatters lives. Just one drink above the limit, taking an illegal substance or certain prescription medication can slow your response time and significantly impair your ability to drive.
“If you injure, or even worse, kill another person after having had too much to drink or driving after having taken either legal or illegal drugs you will have to deal with it being on your conscience for the rest of your life. You will have to potentially see that person’s loved ones in court. The shame and guilt is horrendous, but that will be nothing compared to what your victim and their friends and family will be enduring.”
Senior Crown Prosecutor Joshua Sanderson-Kirk of CPS Mersey- Cheshire said: “This was a tragic case in which the CPS and Merseyside Police have worked closely to ensure the defendant was brought to justice.  

“A number of members of the public stopped at the scene and tried to help Miss Ceravolo, they then became witnesses and helped us to present the case against Mr Cooney. I’d like to thank them for their assistance. 

“This case serves as a reminder that the use of a mobile phone when driving and the taking of drugs can have tragic consequences.  The family of Ms Ceravolo have written about her love of the culture and music of England, particularly Liverpool, and why she chose to make her home here.  She was clearly loved deeply by all who knew her.  I would like to take this opportunity to offer my most sincere condolences to the friends and family of Miss Ceravolo.”

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Written by C.L Martin

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