Driver could not see unlit trailer, trial told

Trailer had suffered a puncture and had been parked at side of road

An unlit trailer which had a puncture was involved in a collision near Ballybofey in which one man died and two others were injured

An unlit trailer which had a puncture was involved in a collision near Ballybofey in which one man died and two others were injured

 
A farmer whose unlit trailer suffered a puncture at the side of the road has gone on trial in Letterkenny, Co

Donegal, accused of causing death by dangerous driving.

Adrian McCool, from Old Admiran, Stranorlar, who pleads not guilty, is accused of causing the death of John O’Donnell (53) at Cappry, outside Ballybofey, on November 13th, 2013. Mr McCool pleaded guilty to three road traffic offences relating to the same incident including failing to have lights on a sheep trailer on the night of the crash.

The court heard how Mr McCool had pulled over on the road at about 7.35pm after a trailer tyre suffered a puncture. Patricia McLaughlin, for the DPP, told the jury before Judge John O’Hagan that Mr O’Donnell was driving on the same side of the road where Mr McCool had parked his vehicle and trailer. The State would argue that Mr O’Donnell could not see the trailer because it had no lights on it, was forced to take evasive action and crashed into an oncoming 4x4 being driven by another local farmer, Terry Temple.

Died at scene

Mr O’Donnell died at the scene, Mr Temple was injured and Mr O’Donnell’s nephew Dylan McGlynn was also hurt.

Mr McGlynn, now 18, sobbed as he gave evidence, saying it was a dark winter’s night with thunder and lightning earlier. He and his uncle were on their way to Mr O’Donnell’s native Castlederg to feed cattle. He said: “We didn’t see the trailer until the last minute.” When the van came to a halt, he said he tried to speak to his uncle but did not get a response. He said Mr McCool came over to the van and told him to go and get help.

The trial continues today.