A TAXI driver repeatedly denied driving over a man who died on a rural road last year during an inquest yesterday.
Offaly Coroner's Court heard 29-year-old father of two James Dillon from Gurteen, Killeigh, Co Offaly, died after being run over by a vehicle at Gurteen on June 2.
The inquest heard that Mr Dillon had returned from a night out in Tullamore and hadn't appeared drunk when a taxi driver dropped him off near his home.
At around 3.45am, Gemma McDonald was driving home when she spotted a man lying on the road with "hands tucked across his chest" she recalled.
She then saw a taxi approach and flagged down the driver who reversed and admitted having seen the man on the road. The driver then left. When Ms McDonald next looked at the body she said, "he was lying with his arms out and his legs out". She informed gardai who quickly tracked down Angolan national Antonio Itshiari.
Last January, Mr Itshiari was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident and fined €500. Following DPP directions, the original charge was amended by Judge Catherine Staines, who described the accident as tragic and unavoidable.
The jury agreed with the verdict of the coroner of death as a result of "crush injuries to the chest and abdomen consistent with having been run over by a vehicle."