13 Aug 2022

Clonakenny driver in ‘split second’ car crash

Careless Driving led to grandmother and two children being hospitalised

Clonakenny driver in ‘split second’ car crash

Thurles District Court

A Clonakenny driver was convicted at Thurles District Court of causing a car crash which resulted in a grandmother and her two granddaughters having to be hospitalised.

John Dunne, of Longfordwood, Clonakenny, Roscrea, was charged with dangerous driving, reduced in Court to the less serious charge of careless driving, after he collided with an oncoming car at Rossestown, Thurles, which resulted in a woman driver and two young people being taken to Clonmel hospital on March 12, 2020.

Sgt Thomas Hanrahan told Judge Elizabeth MacGrath that one of the young people sustained a large laceration to her groin area. Nancy Carroll, the injured driver, had to be cut out of the vehicle by the fire brigade services.

Garda Cian Hennesssy spoke to Mr Dunne at the scene. All of Mr Dunne’s driving documents were in order, and he passed a roadside breath test.

Nancy Carroll suffered a broken right leg and there was swelling in her chest area.
Mr Dunne was working for Lough Derg Rescue at the time when he ended up on the wrong side of the road.

Ms Carroll tried to avoid him on the country road: “it was a bad enough corner,” said Sgt Hanrahan, but Mr Dunne “did not give Nancy Carroll a chance to pass him by.”

Mr Dunne had been trying to look for a boat in a neighbour’s house at the time, said Sgt Hanrahan.
Solicitor JJ Fitzgerald said Mr Dunne was not “completely on the wrong side of the road”. He wasn’t “blatantly” in the oncoming lane.

The collision occurred at the corner of his vehicle and the front of the other vehicle, explained Mr Fitzgerald. “Liability has been admitted. There was no issue of speeding, and the vehicle was in full working order.”

Mr Dunne was not “driving deliberately on the wrong side, but inadvertently.”
Mr Dunne accepts the evidence and pleaded guilty to a charge of Sec 52 Careless Driving. He has no previous convictions, added Mr Fitzgerald.

Judge MacGrath said they were all “very fortunate.” Mitigating circumstances on this occasion include that Mr Dunne was a rescue volunteer and the crash occurred after a “simple glance.” It all happened in “one or two seconds.”

“It was just one of those split second matters,” but there were no fatal injuries, added Mr Fitzgerald.
Judge MacGrath adjourned the matter to April 15 next for a victim impact statement.

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