Lorry driver charged with killing pedestrian says collision accidental

Pedestrian Gerard Whyte (21) was struck and killed by vehicle on the Swords Rd in Dublin

Gerard Whyte (21) from Ballymun, died  when he was hit by a vehicle  at the junction of the N1 Swords Road and Collins Avenue last Friday.

Gerard Whyte (21) from Ballymun, died when he was hit by a vehicle at the junction of the N1 Swords Road and Collins Avenue last Friday.

 

A lorry driver told gardaí a fatal collision between a heavy goods vehicle and a pedestrian in Dublin last week was an accident.

The collision happened on the Swords Road (N1) at the Collins Avenue junction at around 12.30am on Friday as a truck was turning left.

The victim, 21-year-old Gerard Whyte, from Ballymun, Dublin, was taken to Beaumont Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

On Saturday, a man was arrested and detained under the provisions of Section 4, Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Ballymun Garda Station.

He appeared before judge John Cheatle at Dublin District Court on Monday.

Father-of-eight, Prince Aibangbe, (50) originally from Nigeria, but living at William’s Way, Ongar, Dublin, faced a single charge of dangerous driving causing death.

Evidence of arrest, charge and caution was given by Garda David Jordan.

He told the judge Mr Aibangbe had replied: “It happened yesterday, it was an accident” when charged.

Objecting to bail, garda Jordan agreed with defence solicitor Rory Staines that footage of the incident was circulated and Mr Aibangbe’s employer later contacted Bray Garda station.

Mr Aibangbe was arrested by arrangement at his place of work near the Naas Road, in Dublin. The truck was also seized.

The garda agreed that Mr Aibangbe had been forthcoming during three interviews.

The solicitor put it to the garda that Mr Aibangbe “indicated that he clearly did not realise he had been involved in an accident”.

In reply, garda Jordan said the defendant “fled, failed to remain at the scene”.

The solicitor said the lorry driver did not accept that and was not aware at the time.

The garda agreed that ultimately Mr Aibangbe was co-operative in terms of answering questions.

Pleading for bail, he said the defendant had eight children and four of them were adults living in Nigeria. The other four were dependents and in school. His former partner lived in Malahide and had attended the hearing.

The solicitor said his client came to Ireland in 2005 and had worked as a truck driver for 31 years. He told gardaí he had never been involved in a collision before.

He has applied for Irish citizenship.

The truck has to be forensically examined and it was also likely the case will go forward to the Circuit Court on.

He would end up spending a “significant period” of time in custody prior to his trial, his solicitor argued.

It will also take some time to obtain directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Staines submitted.

The garda agreed if bail were granted a number of conditions would be sought. Mr Aibangbe would be asked to lodge money, surrender his passport and not apply for other travel documents and sign on daily at Blanchardstown Garda station.

Judge Cheatle granted bail in the defendant’s own bond of €5,000 of which €2,500 must be lodged. He imposed the conditions sought by the Garda.

Mr Aibangbe was remanded in custody with consent to bail and ordered to appear again at the district court on Friday.

Dressed in a green hooded top and dark blue tracksuit bottoms, he stood throughout the bail hearing but did not address the court. Legal aid was granted. Gardaí have appealed for information and released CCTV footage of the lorry.