Driver still feels blame for deaths, court told

 

A driver is still holding himself to blame for a crash in which three people died even though it was not his fault but that of a passenger in his car who had grabbed and jerked his steering wheel, a court heard yesterday.

Patrick Carroll (34), of Woodview Drive, Mallow, was blameless for the crash which claimed the lives of Mr John Mullane (26) and Ms Jacinta Magner (19) and a van-driver, Mr John Madden (20), in the two-vehicle collision.

But Carroll pleaded guilty at Blarney District Court yesterday to failing to stop and three other charges following the crash at Rathduff on the Cork-Mallow road on July 30th last.

Insp. Mick Scanlon said Carroll (34) was driving the car but stressed that he was not to blame for the tragic accident. "A passenger in the car caught the steering wheel and gave it a jerk - doing the fool - as a van came up behind them," he said.

Judge Michael Pattwell said he accepted that Carroll had suffered greatly as a result of the horrific accident and fined him £100 for failing to stop, disqualified him from driving for three years and endorsed his licence.

He also gave him a concurrent three-year disqualification for failing to remain at the scene.