Car 'bounced off road' in Christmas morning collision
Published 27/05/2016 | 00:00
A motorist who caused a Christmas Day collision in the village of Monageer was convicted of dangerous driving.
Unemployed plasterer Liam Staines (27), of Mount Leinster View, Crane in Ferns later told garda investigating the crash that he had been smoking cannabis the previous night.
The District Court heard from Zara Fenlon of Ballysimon House how she was outside the church waiting in her Volkswagen Bora to turn right towards home.
It was shortly before Mass was due to begin on the morning of December 25, 2014 when her car was struck by the Staines's Citroen Xantia which arrived at speed from the direction of the national school.
Ms Fenlon was adamant that she was on her correct side of the road and this was verified by fellow motorist Pat McDonald of 3 Cross Meadow in Monageer.
Evidence was also provided by Niamh Bolger who was turning into the church grounds, with her grandmother as passenger, when she noticed Staines approach.
She recollected that the Citroen was 'bouncing off the road' at speed before she heard the loud bang as Ms Fenlon's vehicle was spun around and Staines's car ended up embedded in a wall.
The defendant later told Garda Sandra Nolan that he was on his way with his baby son from his girlfriend's home in The Ballagh towards Ferns.
He could recall passing the school but had no memory of the impact which left him concussed while Ms Fenlon suffered back pain and a damaged tooth. The baby sustained a little bruise to the head.
The accused said that he had been smoking weed on Christmas Eve and cannabis showed up in his system.
Judge Gerard Haughton ruled that Staines was clearly going too fast, so fast that his suspension unit came off the car he was driving on impact.
The dangerous driving conviction came with two year disqualification, €500 fine and an order to pay €230 witness expenses.
'It is fortunate that no one was killed,' concluded the judge.