Thursday 19 April 2018

Man accused of dangerous driving told wife he knocked someone down

Declan Brennan

A MAN accused of dangerous driving causing the death of a Monaghan cyclist told his wife he had knocked someone down when he got home, a trial has heard.

Shane O’Farrell (23) died after he was struck by a car on the N2 Dublin to Derry road between Carrickmacross and Castleblaney sometime after 10 pm.

Zigimantas Gridzuiska (39) of Ardross Avenue, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan has admitted driving away from the scene of the accident after his car collided with a bike carrying Mr O'Farrell.

He has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing death at Tollyvara Upper on August 2, 2011.

He has pleaded guilty to three related charges, namely failing to stop his car at the scene of this accident, failing to keep the car near the scene of this accident and failing to report the accident to gardai.

Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, read a statement to the court which was made to gardai by Brigita Gridziuskiene, the wife of the accused.

She told them on the evening of the accident her husband gave two friends a lift to Monaghan in his own car, a Rover but that he returned to the house on foot.

She said that when he returned home he was in “total shock” and his hands and legs were shaking. He told her: “I knocked someone down. I don't know who. I didn't see anyone.”

He said that he didn't see anything in front of him but that he felt a strike and then saw the red reflector of a bike on the windscreen.

He was very nervous and told his wife he had left the car elsewhere. Ms Gridziuskiene said there was no discussion about ringing the gardai.

She said they were in shock and didn't know what to do. She said the next morning they heard that a person had died in the road accident. She said h

The court heard that two friends of the accused, Edgars Zelanovs and Paulius Petrasas, told gardai that the accused had no drink or drugs taken when he gave them a lift to Monaghan shortly before the accident.

Mr Petrasas said that the accused drove in a normal way to Monaghan and at a speed of 100 k/ph.. 

Detective Garda James Dalton, now retired, told Mr Kennedy that he had earlier stopped the car with the three men and that they all appeared to be sober. The accused was not driving at this point.

The trial has been adjourned until Friday when it will continue in evidence before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of eight men and four women.

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