Mechanic guilty of endangerment over fatal crash involving defective vehicle

Court told Adam Krupa (43) ‘procured’ a friend to drive SUV despite knowing of its defects

A mechanic has been found guilty of intentionally allowing a dangerously defective vehicle onto a public highway before it was involved in a fatal collision.

A mechanic has been found guilty of intentionally allowing a dangerously defective vehicle onto a public highway before it was involved in a fatal collision.

 

A mechanic has been found guilty of intentionally allowing a dangerously defective vehicle onto a public highway before it was involved in a fatal collision.

Adam Krupa (43), of Aghantragh, Killashee, Co Longford, was charged with endangerment over the crash at Curry, Kenagh on February 5th, 2014, in which Lisa Cullen (29) from Edgeworthstown was fatally injured.

A jury of eight men and three women took around three hours to return a majority guilty verdict at Longford Circuit Criminal Court on Friday.

The court heard that Krupa had agreed to carry out work on the 14-year-old Mitsubishi Crewcab for a local man.

However, the Polish national, who has more than 20 years experience in the trade, engaged another mechanic as he did not have a hoist needed to do the work to prepare the vehicle for its Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness test.

He drew up a list of items that needed to be replaced, including the braking system, the wishbone for its steering and a head gasket. The court heard that Krupa noticed a smell of oil from the vehicle before driving it home and returning it to the other mechanic the next day for the work to be carried out.

Vodka

Judge Eoin Garavan was told that on the day of the crash Krupa was arguing with his wife and consumed a bottle of vodka while the vehicle was being worked on.

After travelling to Longford with his friend Adam Zigal, the pair picked up two other friends including Robert Walliant. They then drove to the pick up the vehicle, which the work was not completed on, and Mr Walliant started driving it in the direction of Ballymahon.

Mr Walliant said he noticed lights from another vehicle around 100m ahead of him on the road, but there was “no response” from the vehicle’s brakes.

In an attempt to slow down, Mr Walliant said he drove on to the hard shoulder but noticed a wall seconds later and then attempted to return to the carriageway. He said there was “no response” from the vehicle’s steering as he tried to do so and he collided head-on with Ms Cullen’s Peugeot 206.

‘Procured’

The prosecution argued that Krupa “procured” Mr Walliant to drive the vehicle back to its owner while knowing of its defects.

Garda Brendan Mee, a vehicle inspector, examined the SUV and found that its braking system was “severely corroded, rusted and weakened” and was leaking fluid. He found no brake fluid in its reservoir channel and found clay in the bearings, which openedup the prospect of the vehicle wandering on the road.

He concluded that it was dangerously defective and should not have been on the road.

Krupa was remanded on bail to appear before the court again in January ahead of the preparation of a probation report. He was ordered to refrain from applying for a passport and to remain in the jurisdiction.