A 23 year old man who admitted careless driving causing serious harm to two of his passengers after his car overturned on the Omeath/Newry Road, was given an 18 month suspended sentence at Dundalk Circuit Court last Thursday and has been banned from driving for two years.
David Crilly of Drumnasilla, Ravensdale also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance at Ballyoonan, Omeath on February 2 2016 which the court heard was a result of a direct debit the month before not being paid.
The court heard that the defendant was driving to Carlingford after bringing his friend home to Omeath to change his clothing before going to work.
A Bus Eireann driver who was travelling to Newry told gardai the car had appeared very quickly around a bend, saying “one second there was nothing – then the whole car was coming”.
He said it was going so fast he couldn’t believe it made the bend and he thought the car was going to hit the bus, but at the last second it straightened up and passed by ‘in a flash’.
A further witness - whose jeep the car collided with as it came to a stop, saw the back of the car open and "something come out" which was the back seat passenger - who was resuscitated in the ambulance on route to hospital.
A forensic collision investigation found after passing the bus, the car had hit a stone wall, flipped over and collided with an embankment on the other side of the road.
The back seat passenger - who suffered severe traumatic injury and is now cared for by his parents, is no longer able to work, has been left with a reduced sense of taste and smell and has slurred speech.
The female front seat passenger suffered multiple lacerations and a fractured leg - resulting in ankle pain, scarring, morning stiffness and wrist pain, and had been diagnosed with PTSD.
None of the occupants of the car had any memory of the collision, while the defendant - who sustained a fractured foot, cracked ribs and bruising, told gardai he was a confident driver, who knew the road well and claimed he would not have been flying on it.
He had no previous convictions and the Defence barrister said his client was very conscious of the profound affect the injuries have had on both victims – and his friendship with them had ended as a result of what happened.