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Driver lucky not to blow up car in petrol pump crash -- gardai

THIS is the young driver who allegedly lost control of a friend's car and crashed into a concrete pillar at a petrol station, leaving a female passenger with a broken jaw.

According to gardai, Ross O'Farrelly was incredibly lucky he did not blow up the car as he missed a petrol pump by less than two feet.

The defendant denied his driving was dangerous, claiming he simply didn't see the turn-off from the Navan Road into Brady's Esso Garage in Castleknock, and swung the car into the garage too quickly after his passengers shouted at him.

Judge Patrick McMahon adjourned the matter for one week for legal argument.

The defendant, of Georgian Village in Castleknock, had denied charges of dangerous driving as well as driving without insurance during the incident on March 17 last year. A charge of stealing a 2003-registered silver Volkswagen Golf was struck out.


A female passenger in the car, Rebecca Cooke, had told Blanchardstown District Court she was at a St Patrick's Day party when the defendant was asked to go to the shop to get some mixers.

Ms Cooke, who was only 17 at the time of the incident, said she and two others decided to go with O'Farrelly, who was sober.

Ms Cooke said O'Farrelly did not see the entrance to the petrol station. She shouted at him and he turned into the garage too quickly. She claimed it was "just a mistake".

The court heard the defendant hit the concrete base of a petrol pump. The airbags came out, and Ms Cooke lost a tooth and broke her jaw. She later went to hospital and had two plates inserted into her jaw.

A garda witness said he was in the petrol station when he heard a loud bang, and saw that a car had crashed into the concrete base of a petrol pump.

The garda said the car came "very close" to the petrol pump.

Defence counsel claimed O'Farrelly was insured as he had the owner's permission to drive the Volkswagen.