Man jailed for nearly causing motorway crash while on heroin

Judge says woman avoided ‘horrific collision’ by braking to avoid accused’s car on M18

Sgt Brian O’Callaghan said Keith Morkan’s car entered the M18 at Knockanean outside Ennis (general view above), careered across the road and clipped the wing mirror of a car being driven by a female motorist. File photograph: Google Street View

Sgt Brian O’Callaghan said Keith Morkan’s car entered the M18 at Knockanean outside Ennis (general view above), careered across the road and clipped the wing mirror of a car being driven by a female motorist. File photograph: Google Street View

 

A woman avoided “a very horrific collision” when she braked to avoid a car being driven by a Galway heroin addict on the M18 motorway in Co Clare.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan jailed Keith Morkan (48) of St Brendan’s Road, Woodquay, Galway for eight months for a series of road traffic offences on December 29th 2017.

In evidence, Sgt Brian O’Callaghan said Morkan’s car entered the motorway at Knockanean outside Ennis, careered across the road and clipped the wing mirror of a car being driven by a female motorist.

Sgt O’Callaghan said he and a colleague were on patrol on the M18 at the time and they witnessed Morkan driving very erratically.

Sgt O’Callaghan said Morkan’s car “was the worst I have ever seen on the road”.

He said the back and side windows were smashed and it was driving on the rim only of the back right wheel with tyres on the other three wheels.

Sgt O’Callaghan said the back bumper was falling off and the smashed windows arose from a previous incident.

Sgt O’Callaghan said that after being pursued for 20 to 30 seconds by the Garda vehicle, Morkan stopped his car.

Sgt O’Callaghan said Morkan was very unsteady on his feet and he tested positive for opiates. The sergeant said Morkan has eight previous convictions for driving with no insurance and was disqualified from driving at the time.

Solicitor for Mr Morkan, Daragh Hassett said Morkan’s heroin addiction has done untold damage to his mind and body. “Heroin nearly killed him. It took a grip on him and ruined his life. He is now drug-free.”

Judge Patrick Durcan said Morkan had shown “a flagrant, total and absolute disregard of the Road Traffic Acts and the orders of this court.”

Morkan pleaded guilty to a number of offences and Judge Durcan said that ‘a very horrific collision” was avoided by the woman taking evasive action.

He imposed a four-month prison sentence on Morkan for driving under the influence of an intoxicant and a four-month concurrent sentence for dangerous driving.

Judge Durcan also imposed a four-month prison term consecutive to the first four-month term for driving with no insurance.