Thursday 27 July 2017

Evidence of flood-victim garda heard in trial over road death

Conor Gallagher

A STATEMENT from the garda killed in the floods last week was read out yesterday at the trial of of a man accused of dangerous driving causing death.

Garda Ciaran Jones, who was stationed in Stepaside, was killed last Monday in Manor Kilbride, Co Wicklow.

The 24-year-old died when he was swept away while trying to warn motorists of danger during the sudden floods.

The court heard that Garda Jones had been one of the first on the scene when Liam Stafford died in November 2009, and described how he saw blood flowing down the road.

Dara O'Sullivan (21) has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Stafford (28) at Clonard Lawns, Sandyford, in the early hours of November 8 that year.

He also pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of not having a valid license and one charge of no insurance.

The prosecution alleges Mr O'Sullivan of Clonard Road, Sandyford, sped off when the deceased and another man climbed on top of the limousine he was sitting in at the time. Mr Stafford was allegedly dragged under the car and crushed to death by the back wheel.

Aggressively

Yesterday, Sergeant Robert Lackey said he interviewed Rory O'Connor and Geoffrey Deasy, who were both in the car with the accused.

Sgt Lackey said it seemed both men may have given "concocted stories". He said they both described the event in a "remarkably similar manner".

He said the men both made reference to the deceased and his friends acting aggressively as they approached the car. Sgt Lackey said no reference had been made to this at the scene although he agreed that the statements taken at the scene were "necessarily brief".

Garnet Orange BL, prosecuting, read out a statement to the jury from the late Gda Jones who arrived in the aftermath of the incident. Gda Jones described seeing the limousine held up with a jack and a person underneath it. He said he could see blood running down the road past the person's legs before emergency workers pulled the person out and gave him CPR.

Gda Jones said he then called for assistance as there were a lot of angry people at the scene.

The trial heard another statement from Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis who determined Mr Stafford died from a severe crush injury to the chest.

The trial continues before Judge Patricia Ryan and a jury of six men and six women.

Irish Independent

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