Sunday 22 October 2017

Garda vehicle cut across biker before crash, trial told

Gary Tully (left) died following
the crash in August, 2008. Right: Garda Trevor Owens
outside court in Trim
Gary Tully (left) died following the crash in August, 2008. Right: Garda Trevor Owens outside court in Trim

Richard McCullen

A GARDA patrol car cut across an oncoming motorbike just before a fatal collision between the two vehicles, a court has heard.

The driver of the patrol car Garda Trevor Owens (32) -- who is based at Kells garda station -- denies dangerous driving, causing the death of Gary Tully (21) at Commons of Lloyd, Kells, Co Meath, on August 16, 2008.

Mr Tully, from Silverlawns, Navan, died at Our Lady's Hospital following the collision.

Derek McInerney told Trim Circuit Court that he had been travelling towards Kells on the Virginia-Kells road at around 6pm on the evening in question when he was overtaken by a motorbike.

The road had been partially flooded following heavy rain earlier in the day.

He said he had been travelling at approximately 50-55mph, while he estimated the motorbike was travelling at 80-90mph.

The witness said the motorbike had been on the right-hand side near the centre of the road when it overtook and he could see the squad car coming in the opposite direction.

In reply to prosecutor Carl Hanahoe, he said the motorbike was moving into the left lane when the garda car "violently entered the same lane at an angle" while the two vehicle were around 20ft apart.

He said he noticed that the motorbike's brake lights had not come on.

"The boy on the bike had no chance to stop.

"He hit the back of the garda car and went up in the air and landed on the other side of the road.

"When the bike hit the left side of the garda car the patrol car straightened up and was coming towards me.

"I hit the brakes, we were both skidding towards each other and just stopped about an inch from a collision," said Mr McInerney.

He rejected a suggestion from Roderick O Hanlon, defending, that the only escape manoeuvre open to the garda was to move on to the other side of the road

"From my view he wanted to stop the motorbike," said the witness.

Mr McInerney said that following the crash Gda Owens had gone over to Mr Tully and was reassuring him that help was on the way.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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