Accused admitted in texts he was ‘100% in the wrong’ just hours after fatal car crash in Co Cork

Bohdan Bezverkhyi denies charge of dangerous driving causing death of Paudie Palmer, a sports reporter with Cork’s C103 radio station

A man charged with dangerous driving causing the death of GAA broadcaster Paudie Palmer in Cork admitted to friends in text messages just hours after the crash that he had left the scene because he was “drunk and in the wrong, 100 per cent”.

Bohdan Bezverkhyi (33), of Rigsdale House, Rigsdale, Ballinhassig, Co Cork, is on trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court where he denies a charge of dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Palmer (66) at Dunkereen Cross, Innishannon, Co Cork on December 29th, 2022.

Mr Palmer, who lived in Innishannon and was a sports reporter for Cork’s C103 County Sound radio station, was seriously injured in the crash. He died at Cork University Hospital on January 8th, 2023.

The jury of seven men and five women heard evidence of text messages that Mr Bezverkhyi, a Ukrainian national, sent on December 29th after the crash but before his arrest that evening.


Interpreter Ludmilla Luchenko read out a series of text messages in Russian which were found on Mr Bezverkhyi’s phone by gardaí.

In the texts, including one to his mother, Mr Bezverkhyi asked for advice and said he needed help.

“It’s not funny to me, I’ll be jailed – the scene of a traffic accident, drunk – they will take me in now – they will come and get me,” he wrote in one message.

“I got into a car accident, advise me what to do – cannot see the right way out of the situation – I am in the wrong, 100 per cent – I drove off, I was drunk, there’s no excuse for me, I am guilty of it all – wrecked the car, left the scene of an accident, I was pissed,” he said in another exchange.

“Nevertheless, I need to surrender to the garbage [sic], I don’t see any other way out – I think this is the most correct action,” he said in another series of text exchanges which took place between 11.14am, less than two hours after the crash, and 5.26pm, two hours before he was arrested.

Earlier, the jury heard evidence from Det Garda Manus O’Donnell, who told how he traced the car involved in the crash to Mr Bezverkhyi after checking CCTV footage from near the crash site.

He said he called to Rigsdale House where he met Mr Bezverkhyi, who did not speak English. He said they communicated using Google Translate and, in response to being asked about the crash, Mr Bezverkhyi said “I am sorry ... I was scared. I have no excuses” and “I wanted to go to you tomorrow”.

Gardaí arrested Mr Bezverkhyi at 7.20pm and brought him to Bandon Garda station where he was further questioned with the aid of an interpreter before he was charged with four offences relating to the crash, including failing to report a collision and failing to remain at the scene.

Det O’Donnell said Mr Bezverkhyi variously replied to the four charges: “I am guilty, I just want to apologise ... I am sorry, very sorry for what happened ... I have no excuse, no excuse ... Very sorry for my actions. I want to apologise. I am very sorry for my actions.”

However, defence counsel Seamus Roche SC said that what his client was admitting to was leaving the scene of the crash, not that he was guilty of dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Palmer, with which he was only charged at later date after gardaí received directions from the DPP.

“He has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and various associated actions and that is effectively what he was apologising for,” said Mr Roche.

The case continues.

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Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times