AN ambulance driver charged with dangerous driving causing the death of an elderly patient, claims a fox ran out in front of him causing him to lose control and crash into a ditch.
Polish national, Grzegorz Kolek (34), of Rahylin Glebe, Ballybane, Galway, pleaded not guilty before Galway Circuit Criminal Court yesterday to dangerous driving at Headford Road, Galway on November 8, 2012, which caused the death of Bridget Kelly (92) two days later.
Prosecuting barrister Conor Fahy told the court an ambulance, owned by a private company and driven by the accused, mounted a kerb and travelled for 21.5 metres along a ditch before hitting a speed sign, and then a telegraph pole before turning on its side.
The accident, he said, occurred on a straight stretch of road near Ballindooley on the Headford Road, a mile from Galway city at around 11.30am.
A medical report read to the jury stated Mrs Kelly, a patient at St Brendan's Nursing Home in Mulranney, was strapped onto a stretcher in the back of the ambulance at the time.
She subsequently died from complications arising from a brain haemorrhage she sustained in the collision and from other underlying conditions.
Mr Kolek told gardai a fox ran out from the ditch on his left and he veered to the left and braked mildly. The ambulance, he said, mounted the kerb and turned over after hitting the telegraph pole.
Sergeant Pat Flanagan gave evidence he was driving towards Headford and saw the ambulance coming towards him that morning.
He said he did not see a fox and had to take evasive action himself when the ambulance came across to his side of the road after it hit the pole.
The trial continues today.