White Bridge boat crash driver gets trial date

The driver of the speedboat that crashed into the White Bridge last year when a passenger was seriously injured, and three others hospitalised, was given a trial date in November at the District Court last week (July 24 ).

Richard Coffey (20 ) with an address at Merrion Park, South Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin, who appeared in court with his father, was told to appear at the next sessions of the Mullingar Circuit Court, which is sitting in Tullamore in the second week in November.

Coffey was charged on two counts, first under Section 13 of the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act 1997 for “intentionally or recklessly endangering the life of another”, and secondly, contrary to S24 of the Maritime Safety Act for navigating in a dangerous manner.

At Coffey’s initial arraignment in February, Inspector Aidan Minnock told how a motorboat had collided with one of the support pylons of the railway bridge across the Shannon at around 10.30pm on the night of July 14, only moments after leaving the Town Marina.

He explained how one passenger, a female, was “seriously injured”, and is believed to have spent a week in hospital with a broken leg.

“They were lucky we have the Garda Water Unit based here in Athlone,” said the inspector.

“They have a slip and can respond very quickly?” asked the judge.

“Yes, judge,” said Inspector Minnock.

The crash was also memorable as it resulted in the second ever call-out for the new RNLI lifeboat stationed in Coosan on July 1, 2012.

On his last appearance before the summer break Judge Hughes commended Coffey for travelling and attending all court appearances to date.

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