Luas Driver Trial Continues

39-year-old Oriyomi Emmanuel has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the unsafe operation of a tram at the junction of Middle Abbey Street and O’Connell Street, Dublin, on September 16th, 2009.

The jury heard that when Mr Emmanuel was arrested and interviewed, he insisted he had a “proceed signal” when he advanced. He broke down crying when he was shown that the CCTV footage showed a stop signal.

Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, yesterday said a cover above the Luas traffic signal made it more difficult to read as the tram got closer to it. He also pointed to an internal report by Luas operator Veolia Transport that said a nearby electrical pole could have cast a vertical reflection on the signal.

He told gardaí that when he drove the tram forward he saw a “yellow flash”, then the bus “brushed me and dragged me along”. He thought he was dead and that a garda who came to his aid was an angel.

Garda Sgt John Reynolds, a forensic crash investigator, said there was a “cowl” above the Luas signal and that this could have cast a shadow over it. He agreed that this shadow would have become worse as the tram passed over the stop line and towards the junction.

The case continues.


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