| 1.7°C Dublin

Two year road ban for driver who hit truck on M1


A garda checkpoint.

A garda checkpoint.

A garda checkpoint.

A YOUNG driver who crashed into an articulated truck on the M1 motorway while heading home with four friends from a nightclub has claimed he briefly lost concentration when he turned down the radio.

Paul Dargle (19) was told by a judge it was "a miracle" no one was killed in the accident, which resulted in the northbound lane of the M1 being shut for some time.

A court heard one of the passengers, Christopher Buckley, needed 15 stitches to a wound on his forehead but the other men were uninjured.

Judge Dermot Dempsey fined Dargle €750 and banned him from driving for two years.

The defendant, of Tara Cove in Balbriggan, was found guilty before Swords District Court of dangerous driving.

Garda Leoina Lennon said she went to the scene of a road traffic accident on the M1 northbound, near the Applegreen Service Station, around 4.30am.

Gda Lennon said Dargle's Volkswagen Golf crashed into the rear of an articulated truck, causing extensive damage to his vehicle. Gda Lennon said the front of Dargle's car "caved in".

She said the rear of the truck was also extensively damaged and it had to be towed away.


She said she met five young men at the Applegreen Service Station on the southbound carriage and one of them, Dargle, admitted driving the car.

The court heard he did not have any alcohol in his system.

Christopher Buckley, who was a back-seat passenger in the car, said he and a friend met Dargle and his two friends in a fast food restaurant after they had all been in a nightclub in Swords, and they got into the car and headed towards Balbriggan on the M1.

Mr Buckley said one of the others saw the lorry and Dargle slammed on the brakes but went into the back of it.

He said he believed Dargle was driving excessively fast and wasn't paying attention, before admitting he doesn't drive.

Two other passengers claimed Dargle was not driving fast.

Dargle also said he wasn't exceeding the 120kph speed limit.

He claimed he was distracted for a few seconds as he turned down the music on the radio.

Dargle said he heard his name called, and when he looked up he saw the truck. He hit the brakes but went into the back of it. Dargle, who has never been in trouble before, accepted he should have been more cautious but denied his driving was dangerous, claiming it was a "lapse in concentration".