Judge holds over decision in fatal accident case

Judge Mary Devins this week held over her decision until the December sitting of Claremorris District Court in a case of two men involved in a fatal accident. Both David Duggan and John Costello pleaded guilty to the charges in court in relation to a fatal accident on August 20 2010 outside of Claremorris.

The court was told that on August 20, 2010 John Costello, The Demesne, Ballinrobe was driving a van owned by David Duggan from Brownhall, Balla. The van had a cherry picker attached to it at the back and Costello was bringing the van back to a plant hire company in Ballyhaunis. On the Claremorris to Ballyhaunis road, the cherry picker became separated from the van and went across the carriageway into oncoming traffic, colliding with a car coming the opposite way and causing the death of its driver and serious injuries to the front seat passenger.

Duggan pleaded guilty to charges of allowing his van to be used by someone who was not insured to do so, while Costello pleaded guilty to charges of careless driving and driving without insurance. Sgt Eric Godfrey gave evidence to the court about the accident and the subsequent investigation in which it transpired that there was no safety chain between the van and the attached cherry picker or secondary connection that would have activated the brakes on the picker if it came detached, as it did on the date in question.

Thomas Walsh, solicitor for both men, told the court how his clients had thought that the various insurance policies both men had covered them for driving the van on the date in question. Judge Mary Devins told the court that the whole incident was an extraordinary set of circumstances. She told the court she wanted to consider her decision and adjourned the case until December 20 this year.

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