Luas Crash Driver Acquitted

The Luas driver, who crashed his tram into a bus injuring 21 people, has been acquitted of dangerous conduct by direction of the trial judge.

Oriyomi Emmanuel was told he was free to go after the judge ruled there were gaps in the evidence and that it would be unsafe to allow the jury to decide on the case.

39-year-old Emmanuel, from Jamestown Park, Co Meath, had 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.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said there was a discrepancy between the evidence presented by the Garda crash investigator and the Luas investigator concerning the distance the tram was from the signal when it stopped at the junction.

This was “central to the case” because evidence had been presented that there was a shadow cast on the signal, which grew worse as the tram got closer to it.

Mr Emmanuel cried and held his head in his hands as the ruling was made. He made the sign of the cross as the court rose and did not comment outside court.

The trial heard he was “extraordinarily proud” of his job, had an immaculate safety record and was very popular with his colleagues. He told interviewing gardaí he had given up a marriage to get the job and also given up smoking and drinking.


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