CPH Post


Mother's charges in fatal accident dropped

Maria O'Shea cleared of responsibility for accident that killed her three children

The O'Sheas have remained in Denmark since the accident but now plan to return to Australia (Photo: Scanpix)

January 24, 2014

by JC

Charges against Maria O’Shea, the mother who lost three of her four children in a July 2013 accident near the northern Jutland town of Sindal, were dropped yesterday.

Since the accident that killed her children, O’Shea had faced charges of failing to give way before turning in front of the vehicle of 39-year-old Lasse Burholt.

Burholt was given a 10,000 kroner fine and a three-year probation on his driving licence in October for his role in the accident. Burholt admitted speeding at the time of the collision and he also used his phone just prior to the accident. 

READ MORE: Father of killed children "sickened" by driver's light sentence

Wanted to clear her name
The O’Shea family expressed anger at Burholt’s light sentence, and they were also disappointed by the Viborg District Court’s decision this week to drop charges against Maria O’Shea.

Maria and Brian O’Shea told metroxpress newspaper that they had hoped to use the trial to clear any suspicions about Maria’s role in the accident, and that they couldn’t understand why it took so long for a decision in Maria’s case when Burholt was tried back in October.

“We had to go over six months, through Christmas and New Year’s with this hanging over our heads,” Brian O’Shea said. 

Couple plans to leave Denmark
The accident claimed the lives of three of the O’Shea’s four children  – Soren (11), Saoirse (9) and Conor (3). Maria O’Shea and her youngest child Torben (1) survived. 

Maria, who is Danish, and Brian, who is Irish, live in Australia but have been in Denmark since the July accident. According to metroxpress, they now plan to return to Australia. 

The family has previously criticised the police for their investigation and said that it has been extremely difficult living with the insinuation that Maria was to blame for the accident.

READ MORE: Those involved in fatal July car crash want answers

“There were suggestions in the Danish media that she was an Australian housewife who didn't know which side to drive on and was distracted by the kids," Brian O'Shea told The Irish Independent in September. "Maria grew up in that area and knows the roads well.”

The family also reported earlier this month that on numerous occasions memorials that had been placed at the scene of the accident had been stolen or removed. 

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