Monday 23 January 2017

Flight attendant gets two-year road ban over smash

Nicola Donnelly

Published 06/06/2015 | 10:38

Nicholas O'Connor
Nicholas O'Connor

AN Aer Lingus cabin crew member who has been found guilty of dangerous driving has been fined and disqualified from driving for two years.

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Nicholas O'Connor (23) had only started his "dream job" with the airline a year prior to the incident which left a woman with two broken legs, a broken hand, nose and cheek after his red 2004-registered BMW crashed into her BMW in a head-on collision.

O'Connor, of Court View, Rathborne Apartments in Ashtown, Dublin 15, had pleaded not guilty at Blanchardstown District Court to dangerous driving at River Road in Ashtown on August 8, 2014.

SPEED

A witness, Fran Rice, said he was driving on the road heading towards Finglas when a red 2004-registered BMW came towards him at speed on the other side of the road.

He said that after the car passed him by he heard a bang and saw a cloud of smoke.

He said he went to the scene and saw O'Connor holding his back on the side of the road and told him: "You are a very lucky man to get a second chance with life with the way you were driving."

He agreed with defence lawyer Jennifer Jackson that the road is a "dangerous road for someone who doesn't know it."

Joyce Gavin, who was driving the car O'Connor crashed into, said the crash happened within a split second.

"I saw a red flash, like he bounced and then felt the impact," said Ms Gavin.

O'Connor denied he was speeding and said, despite a witness saying he sped past them, that the driver was going slower than he was "so, yes, I would have appeared to be going faster". He said he had only driven the road three times.

Judge Alan Mitchell said he was satisfied speed was a major factor and convicted O'Connor of dangerous driving and said he hopes O'Connor won't lose his dream job as a result.

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