Legislation on failure to stop at the scene of an accident should be reappraised, jury say

Inquest hears driver did not call emergency services because he had no English and did know the number

A jury at an inquest into the death of a Monaghan cyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run incident in 2011 has recommended a reappraisal of legislation dealing with failure to stop and remain at the scene of an accident

A jury at an inquest into the death of a Monaghan cyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run incident in 2011 has recommended a reappraisal of legislation dealing with failure to stop and remain at the scene of an accident

Thu, May 16, 2013, 21:57

A jury at an inquest into the death of a Monaghan cyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run incident in 2011 has recommended a reappraisal of legislation dealing with failure to stop and remain at the scene of an accident.

Returning a narrative verdict in the death of Shane O’Farrell (23) from Carrickmacross, it also recommended that legislation on failure to report accidents to the emergency services should also be reappraised.

Mr O’Farrell died on August 2nd, 2011, while cycling on a straight stretch of the N2 between Carrickmacross and Castleblayney when a car driven by Zigimantas Gridzuiska, originally from Lithuania and with an address at Ardross Avenue, Carrickmacross, hit him.


Emergency services
Gridzuiska told the inquest yesterday he did not call the emergency services when he realised he had hit “someone or something” because he did not speak English or “know the numbers of any emergency services”.

He parked the car at a friend’s house and walked home. He went to gardaí the following day after hearing about the death of Mr O’Farrell.

Gabriel Gavigan SC, for the family, suggested that if Griduiska had been driving with due care and “and within the speed limit and with headlights” he would have seen Mr O’Farrell.

“I am sure I would have seen if he was lit,” Griduiska responded.

He told the inquest the car he was driving had been due an NCT a month before the accident. When questioned about test results that showed the car had faulty steering, he said “nonsense”.

He was acquitted of dangerous driving causing death earlier this year and pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, driving a defective vehicle and failing to report an accident. Though given a suspended sentence provided he left the country, he was later jailed for other offences. He was taken from Wheatfield Prison to give evidence yesterday.

Coroner Dr Mary Flanagan offered her deepest sympathy to the family on the “most tragic death of their fine man”.