A 19-year-old man who has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving said the injuries sustained by his former girlfriend will be on his conscience for the rest of his life.
Judge Tony Hunt was told at last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court that Aidan Flannery of Drimbane, Tubbercurry, had pleaded guilty to the charge of dangerous driving causing serious harm.
The girl, Ms Rebecca Moran, sustained multiple injuries when she was a front-seat passenger in a road traffic accident at Carrowgowan, Bohola, on the afternoon of October 22, 2010.
Counsel for the Prosecution, James Dwyer, said conditions were very wet when Flannery and Ms Moran left Castlebar around 3pm on the day in question.
In her original statement, Ms Moran told gardaí she felt Mr Flannery was driving too fast and was overtaking cars on the approach to Bohola. He was in a hurry to pay a loan in Curry, Judge Hunt was told.
After a jeep, traveling in front of Mr Flannery overtook (on the inside) a tractor that was turning right, the accused manoeuvred to overtake the jeep but the driver of the jeep braked.
Mr Flannery barely missed hitting the jeep, his 1995 Toyota Carina slid and then went out-of-control, turning right around.
Ms Moran said she remembered hitting a metal railing and dropping down into a ditch. Mr Flannery left the car and went for help. The fire brigade removed Ms Moran from the vehicle and she was brought to hospital.
Her injuries ultimately culminated in a splenectomy. She also suffered loss of consciousness, chest trauma, damaged vertebrae and trauma to the pelvis.
Counsel for the Defence, Ms Áine Boyle told the court her client had no previous convictions and had learned a salutary lesson from the accident. The matter was adjourned to January 6 next as there was some uncertainty over whether Flannery was insured to drive the car at the time. It was his father’s car and Flannery junior was of the belief that he was insured.
However, he is due to appear before a district court shortly charged with driving whilst uninsured. Ms Boyle says there is some dispute over this and she was awaiting clarification from the Motor Taxation Office on the question of whether Flannery was insured on the Carina on the day in question.