A BIN lorry driver who killed a three-year-old boy after reversing his vehicle over him has been found not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.
Alex McDaid (60), of Bomany, Letterkenny, had faced a two-and-a-half day trial and had denied causing the death of Patrick McDonagh by dangerous driving in the Ballymacool Housing estate in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, in February 2010.
Mr McDaid had admitted a separate charge of driving without a valid driver’s licence.
The boy died when he chased after a tennis ball from the driveway of his home and ran on to the road outside his home. He had been playing with his twin sister Megan at the time and their father Patrick had witnessed the incident.
Mr McDaid, a father of five who has been a driver with Ferry's Refuse for 12 years, had reversed his vehicle into the cul-de-sac where Patrick died. It was travelling at just 5km/hr at the time.
The prosecution had alleged that he had not driven his eight-metre safely and could have done so had an assistant at the back of the bin lorry directed him properly.
However defence lawyers had argued that the incident was no more than a tragic accident with Mr McDaid weeping as he recalled the horror of realising he had killed a child.
After deliberating for one hour at Letterkenny Circuit Court today, the jury of six men and six women returned a Not Guilty verdict. Mr McDaid was fined €100 for failing to have an up to date driving license.