A HIT-AND-RUN driver has suffered mental anguish since leaving a man injured in the road, his father has said.
Raymond O'Connor (36), from Santry, drove on, thinking he had hit a branch or a small animal.
His father, Thomas, said his son has been struggling since the collision with the young man who was walking along a rural Dublin road. The victim was seriously injured.
On returning home, when O'Connor noticed the large dent at the front of his car, he knew the incident had been more serious than he thought so he handed himself in to gardai.
O'Connor's father told the Herald of his son's difficulties since the accident in November 2008. "He was pretty under the weather for a long time after it," he said. "He's a shy person, a very private guy, it was a tragic accident.
"I was driving for over 40 years and at least I can say I never hit anyone -- it's something no one should have to go through.
"He thought he'd hit a branch and it was raining that night."
The accident took place at Ballymadun, Garristown, on November 8, 2008, and the victim, who has not been named, was left with serious lasting injuries. In his court case last week, O'Connor was banned from driving for four years and fined €1,600.
The logistics manager, from Santry Close, Santry, admitted before Swords District Court to driving without insurance or a driving licence.
He also admitted to leaving the scene of the accident, stating that he believed it was an animal or the branch of a tree, as the top left hand side of the windscreen came in. However, when he got home O'Connor looked at his car and realised there was a big dent on the front, which alarmed him.
He went to Santry Garda Station and told gardai that he may have been involved in an accident.
O'Connor's counsel during his case reiterated that the accident had a terrible effect on O'Connor, who did not realise he had hit a person, and genuinely thought it was a tree.
The investigating garda in the case told the court he accepted that the dark country road was narrow and there was no lighting.
However, he said there were no overlying branches and O'Connor should have been very familiar with the road as he drove it to work every day.