Man (33) told gardaí he left scene of collision that killed broadcaster Paudie Palmer, court hears

Bohdan Bezverkhyi pleaded guilty to number of other charges related to incident but denies charge of dangerous driving

A 33-year-old man, who denies dangerous driving causing the death of popular Cork sports broadcaster, Paudie Palmer, admitted to gardaí that he had been involved in a collision and had left the scene of the incident, a jury was told on Thursday.

Prosecution barrister, Brendan Kelly BL told the jury of seven men and five women trying the case of Bohdan Bezverkhyi that they would hear evidence that Mr Bezverkhyi admitted to gardaí that he was involved in a collision earlier that day when he was arrested in relation to the fatal incident.

Mr Bezverkhyi of Rigsdale House, Rigsdale, Ballinhassig, Co Cork denied a charge of dangerous driving causing the death of Palmer at Dunkiernan Cross, Innishannon, Co Cork on December 29th, 2022, when he was arraigned before the jury on Thursday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr Bezverkhyi pleaded guilty to a number of other charges related to the same incident including that he left the scene of a collision and that he failed to report the incident to gardaí as well as an unrelated charge of dangerous driving at Curraheen, Cork, a day earlier on December 28th 2022.


Outlining the evidence that the state plans to call in the case, Mr Kelly said the jury would hear evidence that Mr Bezverkhyi was at Downes Centra Shop at Crossbarry around 7.30am that morning, and that he appeared to have a flat tyre on his grey BMW 5 series car.

He said that the state would say that Mr Bezverkhyi changed the tyre and drove away from Crossbarry in the direction of Dunkieran Cross in Innishannon where at 9.49am he approached the cross roads from a more minor road coming from the west.

It would be the state’s case that Palmer, who was driving a red Peugeot and travelling in a north-south direction from the north, had the right of way as it was a main road while that Mr Bezverkhyi was travelling on was governed by a stop sign and stop line.

He said that it would also be the state’s case that the jury would hear that there was a clear line of sight from the stop sign at the junction back some 150m to the north on the road that Mr Palmer was driving along when the collision happened.

He said that the jury would hear a witness say they heard the sounds of a car revving and then a bang and they emerged from their house to discover Palmer badly injured in his car and that he was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where he died on January 8th 2023.

Mr Kelly said the jury would hear evidence of the postmortem carried out by Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster that Palmer died from “traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and thoracic injuries due to a road traffic collision.”

He said that gardaí began an investigation which led them to Mr Bezverkhyi and later that day he was arrested and taken to Bandon Garda station where he admitted that he had been involved in a collision and had left the scene of the incident.

He said the jury would also hear that gardaí seized Mr Bezverkhyi’s mobile phone and had it examined, and they found three text conversations with various people in Russian in which he admitted that he had consumed alcohol and left the scene.

Witness Colette Crowley testified that she was at home, sitting in her kitchen that morning: “I heard more than saw a car racing down the road, very high volume noise – engine revving. All of a sudden, I heard a bang. I said, ‘There’s another one’ – because we have had a few crashes at that cross.”

Ms Crowley said that she knew the late Mr Palmer, who lived locally in Innishannon, and she knew him to be a safe driver. “I just called him a driver like myself – a granny driver. I never saw him speeding. A careful driver like myself,” she said.

Cross-examined, Ms Crowley said she could only say what she had heard after defence counsel Seamus Roche SC put it to her that his client was adamant he was not speeding on the occasion and that there would not have been that sort of high revving from his car which is an automatic car.

“He said he was driving appropriately. He had a space saver wheel – a smaller spare - that curtails your driving to some extent, your ability to speed and so on. He said he stopped at the white line. He said he was struck and Mr Palmer veered over to the incorrect side of the road,” said Mr Roche.

“The evidence is that he (the late Mr Palmer) was not wearing a seatbelt which was a lapse of safety. I don’t wish to be critical of the man – it is a very sensitive situation – but there is one indication of a lapse of safety.”

The case resumes on Tuesday.

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Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times