Patrol car of garda on fatal crash charge 'stationary or moving slowly'

Wed, Jun 20, 2012, 01:00

A garda accused of causing the crash which killed a young motorcyclist was trying to avoid a collision between his patrol car and the bike at the time, Trim Circuit Court has heard.

Garda Trevor Owens (32), who is based at Kells Garda station, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Gary Tully at Commons of Lloyd, Kells, on August 16th, 2008. Mr Tully (21), Silverlawns, Navan, died at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan.

Nicholas Hardin, a senior investigator with the Garda Ombudsman Commission, told the court that he had interviewed Garda Owens twice following the crash. Garda Owens said he had been on his way to set up a checkpoint on the Kells-Virginia (N3) road after receiving reports of a speeding motorcycle heading towards Kells.

A road accident investigator told the court that he estimated the motorbike was travelling at about 100km/h. David Iwan Parry, a traffic accident reconstruction expert from Britain, who was engaged by the Garda Ombudsman Commission, told Carl Hanahoe, prosecuting, that the Garda car was either stationary or moving very slowly.

A car driver who had been overtaken by the motorbike just before the crash claimed that the Garda car had skidded and almost collided with him, while another witness said that if the bike had not hit the Garda patrol car, it would have collided with her car.

The trial continues before Judge Margaret Heneghan and a jury.