AN elderly motorist who was involved in a head-on collision almost three years ago was acquitted of careless driving.
John McMahon of Castletown, Kilmallock denied the charge which related to a collision at Castletown Conyers on April 26, 2010.
During a contested hearing at Newcastle West Circuit Court, Garda James Finn said the accident happened at around 10.15am and that when he arrived at the scene he saw two “badly damaged” cars which were blocking the road.
Judge Gerald Keys was told three people were injured in the collision which involved a grey Skoda Octavia driven by the defendant and a silver Toyota Corolla which was being driven by a young man - Michael Treacy.
In his evidence, Mr Treacy told state solicitor Aidan Judge he was driving at around 30mph from Ballyagran to Croom when the collision happened.
He said the crash happened near a “very slight” bend and that McMahon’s car was on the wrong side of the road as it approached him.
“He was on my side of the road, before I knew it the accident happened,” he said adding that he had blacked out following the impact and only woke up in the Mid Western Regional Hospital.
Garda Finn said he spoke to Mr Treacy a number of days later but that McMahon declined to make a statement, referring him to his solicitors.
Under cross examination, Garda Finn told Donal O’Rourke BL there were no markings on the road and he said he had been unable to establish the exact point of impact.
He told the court he observed glass “strewn all over the road” but this was disputed by Mr O’Rourke, who said photographs of the scene taken by his client’s son on the day showed the concentration of debris was primarily on his client’s side of the road, which suggested he had not been driving on the wrong side of the road when the impact happened.
Two members of the gardai, who live near where the accident happened described hearing a loud bang but neither of them were able to say if the defendant had been on the wrong side of the road before the impact.
Dismissing the charge, the judge said he had a doubt as there were inconsistencies between the photographs and Mr Treacy’s evidence.