Drogheda Independent

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Cyclists injured after incident


A motorist who pulled out in front of a group of cyclists, causing two cyclists to be thrown over their handlebars had his case adjourned for the presiding judge to consider whether to accept a plea for a lesser charge of careless driving.

Aaron Walsh (21) of Woodbrook, Sandpit in Termonfeckin was charged with dangerous driving when he caused the collision on April 6th, 2015 on the R132 at Killineer in Drogheda.

However, his solicitor said Walsh is prepared to plead guilty to a lesser charge of careless driving if the judge would accept that.

Garda Louise McDonnell gave evidence that at 11.15am a group of five cyclists were cycling from Dunleer to Drogheda when Walsh pulled out in front of them at a T-junction.

The cyclists were forced to break as they were travelling downhill at speed and two cyclists collided with each other.

Both cyclists were thrown over their handlebars and both suffered a broken collar bone each.

Walsh drove on for a while and stopped before driving off again. His registration number plate was taken down by one of the cyclists.

Aine Duggan, one of the cyclists, told Drogheda District Court she was thrown over the handlebars and broke her collar bone. She also said she had to receive a number of stitches to her side after the handlebars 'sliced through it'. She said she was left with concussion and couldn't drive for eight weeks.

'I had entered triathlon races but couldn't compete due to the injuries and it has taken me four to six months to get my fitness back,' said Ms Duggan. 'I still have to get physio on my collar bone and had to move back home for a month because of my injuries.'

Louise Morgan said she saw Walsh driving his car and it was stopped at the junction. 'At the last minute he pulled out in front of us and we had to slow down quickly.'

'I came off my bicycle and broke my collar bone,' said Ms Walsh. She also said she was out of work as a Yoga teacher for six weeks and her injury had a 'huge effect on me, my family and my training as a triathlete.'

Walsh's solicitor said it was the defendant's timing of turning out onto the road that caused the collision but that there was no collision with his car.

'He sincerely apologises to the two women and fully accepts the standard of his driving created the accident. It was a momentary lapse in concentration and he misjudged the speed of the approaching cyclists,' the solicitor said.

Walsh, who has no previous convictions, works as a fitness instructor and personal trainer and requires his driving licence to work.

'He deeply regrets the injuries caused and he didn't realise there was a collision until the garda informed him,' the solicitor explained.

'He wouldn't have left the scene if he had of known people were injured,' the solicitor said, adding that Walsh has been improving his standard of driving and is a 'much more vigilant and experienced driver now.'

Judge Flann Brennan adjourned the case until next week to consider the evidence as to whether to reduce the charge from dangerous driving to careless driving.