Jury to continue deliberations in Clara bus crash trial

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The jury in the trial of a vehicle testing firm accused of safety breaches relating to a fatal bus crash will continue their deliberations today (Wednesday).

The jury in the trial of a vehicle testing firm accused of safety breaches relating to a fatal bus crash will continue their deliberations today (Wednesday).

By Conor Gallagher

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The bus went out of control on a bog road just outside Clara, Co Offaly on April 4, 2006 after the back axle came off. Michael White (15) died as a result of catastrophic injuries suffered during the crash.

It is alleged that a missing bolt and fractures in the rear suspension spring system resulted in the axle separating completely from the 1989 Mercedes bus.

David O’Reilly, acting on behalf of vehicle testing firm O’Reilly Commercials Ltd of Ballinalach, Mullingar, Co Westmeath has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four charges of failing to note or verify defects and modifications on the bus between August 5 and 6, 2005.

Yesterday the jury heard from Judge Margaret Heneghan before beginning deliberations. The jury of ten men and two women considered a verdict for over three hours before being sent home for the evening. They will resume this morning.

Judge Heneghan told the jurors that they must decide the case only on what they have heard during the nearly five weeks of evidence. She said they must leave aside any sympathy or criticism they have for anyone involved and decide the case solely on the facts.

She told them they shouldn’t make any decision which would cause them to lose sleep or have misgivings about in the future.

Judge Heneghan said that it would be wrong to convict the company if there is a reasonable doubt about their guilt. However she added it would be just as wrong to acquit if they are convinced of guilt