A woman told Dundalk district court last week how her children were left screaming and she thought one of her sons had been killed, after their car was involved in a hit and run at the Xerox junction on the Dublin Road.
Gerard Soraghan (23) with an address at Dunmahon, Dundalk was before the court accused of hit and run offences and dangerous driving arising out of the incident on the first of October last year.
He was also charged with drink driving on the Avenue Road on January 22nd last where he was involved in a collision with a wall.
In relation to that incident the Defence solicitor said her client had had an argument with his girlfriend and drove while intoxicated. She said he made full admissions at the scene and was compliant with the gardai at all times.
The solicitor claimed that road conditions were very poor and had partly contributed to the collision and she said while he did leave the scene, later that day he went to gardai and made a full confession.
The solicitor added the accused could not explain why he left and added,“He just panicked”.
The court heard despite not currently working the defendant had €500 in court for the occupants of the car. The woman who was driving the car involved in the collision at the Xerox junction confirmed to the court that she had just received an apology from the defendant. She said her 13 year old son had gone to his first teenage disco that night. They were just returning from dropping boys off in Blackrock and the words “I hate being out late at night” were only out of her mouth when the impact occurred.
She told how her 11 year old boy was in the front and her 13 year old was in the back of the car.
“All we saw was the car zigzagging towards us. The kids were screaming,” she said.
She told the court the car spun 180 degrees.
“I thought my 11 year old was dead because he wasn’t talking,”she added.
The woman explained that she was pulled out of the car by her 13 year old son, who also took his younger brother from the car. She also said she has to have an operation due to cartilage damage to her nose.
The witness said she doesn’t believe in holding grudges but said “I told him you’ve got to cop on to yourself”.
“I don’t understand how someone can leave the scene of an accident when there were two children involved,” she added.
Judge Flann Brennan said there were extremely serious charges and in respect of the collision on October first last year he said it could safely be said the only fortunate and good thing about that is that nobody was killed.
He said the defendant left the scene, “and that was an extremely cowardly and dreadful thing to do”.
The Judge added the accused had no respect for the road traffic code.
He imposed a €300 fine for the drink driving offence and a three year ban and imposed a three month sentence for the second incident, but suspended it for three months on the accused entering a bond to be of good behaviour for that period.