'Lucky' nobody was killed by dangerous driver

IT was only luck that ordained no one was killed or seriously injured in an accident caused by a young driver who overtook a car and collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle outside Listowel last year, a court heard.

Tom Kennedy, whose address was listed in court as Sand Quay, Avonm, Bridge Street, Ballylongford, caused a serious accident when he overtook a car while driving between Listowel and Tarbert - at Kylebwee, Listowel - on March 3 of last year. It took fire officers an hour to cut Mr Kennedy from the wreckage, the court heard.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving when he appeared before Judge Mary Larkin at Listowel District Court last Thursday.

However, there were no serious injuries among the four occupants of his car and the sole driver of the oncoming vehicle into which he crashed. Superintendent Michael Fitzpatrick said it was very lucky that nobody was killed in the crash.

The 19-year-old had only been driving for four months at the time and the accident was caused by a 'lack of judgement' on his part, solicitor Maurice O'Sullivan said.

"He was travelling behind a car that was going slowly and pulled out when he shouldn't have... it was part inexperience and a lack of judgement, he shouldn't have been attempting to overtake at all," Mr O'Sullivan said. "I agree that it was lucky no one was killed," he added.

The court heard that Mr Kennedy's insurance was fully in order and that he was extremely regretful about the incident. Judge Larkin put the defendant off the road for two years and fined him €500 for dangerous driving.

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