A man who veered left and hit a ditch which resulted in his car flipping over in to the middle of a road was disqualified from driving at Castlebar District Court on Wednesday after he was found to have driven dangerously.
On January 22 2012, Patrick Daly was driving from Ballyheane towards Castlebar behind a red Honda Civic. This car was driven by Dylan O’Reilly, Drumcorrabaun, Breaffy. Mr Daly said that he kept a good distance back from this car as something about the driving of the Honda Civic was not right—he said that the driver was not too sturdy on the road and the car was going over the centre line.
At Hollyhill, Castlebar, Mr Daly observed the Honda Civic, which was travelling about 65 to 70km (below the road’s speed limit ) veer to the left side and then the car flipped upside down and landed on the other side of the road. Mr Daly said that he parked his car and put on the hazard lights to warn oncoming motorists and helped get O’Reilly out of the car via the boot.
Garda Kevin Carney arrived at the collision at 3.55pm. He said O’Reilly told him that he was driving and lost control. Garda Carney said the defendant was confused and agitated. O’Reilly was brought by ambulance to Mayo General Hospital where later at 6.10pm a blood sample was provided. A result of this sample showed that there was no alcohol present in the defendant’s blood, however the sample showed there was Benzodiazepine in his system.
The drug driving charge was dismissed by Judge Mary Devins due to the omission of an essential proof in the garda’s evidence.
Judge Devins said that the evidence given by Mr Daly was convincing, low key, and factual, and the judge said that based on this she would convict for dangerous driving. O’Reilly (32 ) has two previous road traffic convictions.
His solicitor Cathy McDarby said that this accident happened during a chaotic time before the defendant faced another court case which led to his spending time in prison. She said that the defendant was sleep deprived at the time of the accident. He told the court that he took a Valium tablet days before the incident. Judge Devins asked him if he was still taking drugs to which the defendant said “no, 100 per cent, I’ve changed my life since then.”
Ms McDarby said that her client would like to thank Mr Daly for helping him get out of the car. Judge Devins said Mr Daly was a “fine young man” for his actions that day.
The judge convicted and fined O’Reilly €500, disqualified him from driving for two years, and directed that €80 witness expenses be paid to Mr Daly.