27 Jan 2022

Man travelling at 'outrageous speed' on motorbike in Offaly 'fortunate to be alive'

Man travelling at 'outrageous speed' on motorbike in Offaly 'fortunate to be alive'

Man travelling at 'outrageous speed' on motorbike in Offaly 'fortunate to be alive'

JUDGE Catherine Staines told a defendant everyone was fortunate they were still alive in the case of a man who pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving.

Enda Fox, Bailey's Gate, Clara, was convicted of the offence which took place on August 31, 2019 at Ballymorrane, Ballyfore, Edenderry, on August 31, 2019.

At a hearing held at last Wednesday's district court, Garda Patrick Linnane, said he was called to the scene where an accident had occurred between a motor bike and a vehicle.

Garda Linnane said Jonathan Blong was driving his vehicle out of his house and was about to turn right onto the Edenderry road when Mr Fox who was on a motorbike came around a bend colliding with the vehicle being driven by Mr Blong.

When Garda Linnane arrived at the scene Mr Fox was on the ground unconscious. He was taken to the accident and emergency ward at Tullamore hospital where at first it was thought he might have a broken leg but he just had bad bruising. Mr Blong and his daughter were treated at the scene by paramedics.

Taking the witness stand Mr Blong said he had been living in his house for 10 years and pulled out of the driveway every day and always looked left and right. He said if he thought there was any danger he would not have pulled out. He said the front of the vehicle was just over the line when he saw what he described as a flash before the bike collided with his vehicle.

He said he saw Enda Fox lying on the grass verge and he went up to him and said ''you were absolutely flying.''CCTV from a neighbour's house was handed over to the gardai.

In his evidence Enda Fox said he had attended a party for his daughter in Edenderry and left after 5pm. He said the conditions were wet and he was travelling at around 80 kilometres an hour. He said when he came around the corner he saw the vehicle but it looked like it hesitated.

He said he tried to go around it but the vehicle kept going. He said he remembered hitting the bonnet of Mr Blong's vehicle and hitting his head twice on the road. He said when he was on the ground Mr Blong had come up to him and said ''why didn't you stay on your side of the road'' Mr Blong denied that he had said this.

Barrister Shane Geraghty for Mr Fox asked Garda Linnane if some gardai are in a position to view CCTV footage and ascertain the speed in which vehicles are travelling.

Garda Linnane said he believed it is a resource but it is only used for more serious injuries.

Witness Mr Ward said he was driving and saw the motorist and the motorbike. He said the speed the motorbike was travelling at was ''chronic''. He said he could see the accident happening before it happened.

Judge Staines said she had heard all the evidence. Shehe said Mr Blong had his three year old daughter in the car and moved out carefully from his house as there was a bend nearby. He had looked left and right and had seen a flash of a motorbike which had collided with him.

She noted there was no PSV inspection but with resources this was not possible. However, she said she had seen the CCTV and had seen Mr Fox travel at an ''outrageous speed.'' She said the witness had said he knew something bad was about to happen.

Sgt James O'Sullivan said Mr Fox had ten previous convictions and in 2017 he had been convicted of dangerous driving. In 2008 he was convicted of careless driving.

Mr Geraghty said Mr Fox had three dependent children. He is a crane driver by profession and a disqualification would have serious consequences. He works six days a week, he told the court.

Judge Staines disqualified Enda Fox for two years and fined him €300. She fixed recognisance on his own bond of  €200 if he wished to appeal the conviction.

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