Friday 15 December 2017

Garda tells how car 'going like a rocket' killed his colleague

Stephen Maguire

A Garda has revealed the terrifying moments before a car smashed into his patrol car and killed his colleague.

Gda Bernard McLaughlin revealed how a car being driven by Martin McDermott "came like a rocket" before it hit them head-on in Co Donegal in December 2009.

Gda Gary McLoughlin (24) died in hospital the following day as a result of his injuries.

Martin McDermott (25) , of Castlegrove, Raphoe, Co Donegal denies manslaughter but has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Gda McLoughlin.

He has also pleaded not guilty to driving intentionally and in a wreckless manner but pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving without insurance and driving while disqualified.

Gda McLaughlin told Letterkenny Circuit Court how he and Gda McLoughlin had been alerted to a pursuit between an unmarked patrol car and a Vauxhall Astra on the main Letterkenny to Derry road at around 1.15am on December 13.

Gda McLaughlin said he and his colleague were told to simply get the registration number of the red Vauxhall car. As they drove towards Letterkenny at Lisfannon near Burt, Gda McLaughlin said he noticed a car coming towards them.

"I studied it for a second and realised it was coming straight for us. It was a like a rocket. I shouted at Gary and he tried to pull the steering wheel to the left and into the ditch but we only had a second to the point of impact," he said. The trial is expected to finish before Judge John O'Hagan today.

Irish Independent

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