Trucker jailed after cyclist paralysed in accident
A HAULIER whose dangerous driving left a young cyclist living in "a nightmare of pain" has been jailed for three years.
Judge Sean O'Donnabhain heard that lorry driver Tim Walsh (49) was informed two months prior to the Cork accident that there were 70 defects with his truck but he had done nothing to remedy them.
These included a broken side mirror which the judge said was instrumental in restricting his visibility as he overtook Vincent O'Driscoll's bike, Cork Court was told.
Mr O'Driscoll (31), inset, was left paralysed after being knocked off his bike by Walsh as he passed him on the Cork-Macroom Road. Walsh from Moneen, Glanworth, Co Cork admitted dangerous driving causing serious injury to Mr O'Driscoll on August 7 2013.
The former triathlete's spinal column was crushed. He said the pain he endured made him think about suicide.
"To be honest, the psychological side of it is nearly as bad as the physical side of it, if not worse. I used to get up in the morning and I used to be a happy person," he said.
"It makes me contemplate suicide.
"I am a forgiving person and I understand that accidents do happen but accidents like mine could easily be avoided with a bit of patience by drivers."
Judge O'Donnabhain said it was "criminally negligent" for anyone to overtake a cyclist on that stretch of road.
The vehicle underwent Department of Environment inspection two months prior to the accident and 70 defects were found.
Judge O'Donnabhain jailed Walsh for four years but agreed to suspend the final 12 months of the sentence.