A LISTOWEL woman who overtook a car on the approach to a busy junction and crashed into a parked car while swerving to avoid an oncoming vehicle, has avoided a disqualification after she agreed to accept a ' hefty fine' of €1,500
Phyllis Hickey of 1 Stoker;s Grove, John B Keane Road, Listowel, pleaded guilty to careless driving - which had been reduced from dangerous driving at the consent of Judge Mary Larkin at Wednesday's sitting of Listowel District Court.
The court heard that Ms Hickey had been arrested by gardaí on suspicion of another matter - which turned out not to be the case - and while at the station a member of the public rang to report her driving. The caller told gardaí that he had been driving behind Ms Hickey on approach to a 'dangerous junction' when he saw her overtake a car and crash into a parked car. She didn't stop at the scene but pulled up close to the garda station.
Her solicitor Louis McDonagh said that his client took a 'poor decision' to overtake a car so close to the junction and because a car came around the corner into her path, she had to swerve to avoid it and ended up crashing onto the other car. He said that Ms Hickey believed that staying at the scene would give rise to chaos given how busy the junction is, and so she moved on and pulled in to a space near the station. It was there garda spoke to her about a different matter and took her to the station.
"She had intended to report the matter and hat's why she pulled in where she did," Mr McDonagh said. "There was an element of misfortune that a third party came into her path."
Having agreed to reduce the charge from dangerous to careless driving, Judge Larkin said that the only way she would avoid a disqualification was if she paid 'a hefty fine' and fined her €1,500, payable within six months.
"There has to be consequences for this type of driving and were it not for her plea I would definitely have disqualified her," the judge said.