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Judge to visit location to decide careless driving case

Judge to visit location to decide careless driving case

A District Court judge will visit the location of a road traffic accident near Tiernaur before she decides whether an Achill woman is guilty of careless driving.
Olivia Calvey of Bullsmouth Road, Dooniver, Achill appeared before Westport District Court where she was accused of careless driving resulting in a collision along the N59 between Mulranny and Newport on March 1, 2012.
The court heard that Mrs Calvey was overtaking a petrol lorry along a straight stretch of road at Roskeen, Newport when she collided with a car driven by Geraldine McManamon which was in front of the lorry and indicating right.
Ms Calvey denied the claim and told the court she did not see Mrs McManamon’s car in front of the lorry when she went to overtake.
Ms McManamon of Knockmanus, Carrowbeg, Newport explained that she left her home between 10am and 10.30am and was driving in the direction of Newport. She said she was going to Castlebar when she claimed she forgot something and decided to perform a u-turn at a friend’s house.
She said a truck was behind her and she put on her indicator and checked her mirrors and started to turn right. She claimed she did not see a car until it hit her driver’s door.
Ms Calvey said she was halfway past overtaking the truck when she noticed a car turning right and she tried to turn right to avoid a collision but failed and ended up on the grass verge.
She explained she was driving at 55mph and claimed she did not see the vehicle in front when she started to overtake.
Finbar Dunne, the driver of the lorry, said that the car in front of him gave plenty of notice of turning right and there was over a truck length between them. When asked by Mr Dermot Morahan, solicitor for Ms Calvey if it was a place perfect for overtaking, he said it would be for a car but not for a lorry.
When asked by Mr Morahan if the truck could have obscured Ms Calvey’s vision, investigating Garda Brian Murphy said it was possible. Mr Morahan said that Ms McManamon should not have performed a u-turn and could also be charged with careless driving.
Judge Mary Devins said it was an interesting case and she had to decide if Ms Calvey was driving carelessly or the driver in front of the lorry. She said she would look at the location when travelling to Achill court on March 14 and adjourned the case until March 21.