Court Hears That Garda Car 'Cut Across' Bike Before Crash

Trim Circuit Court heard yesterday that a garda patrol car cut across an oncoming motorcycle just before a fatal collision between the two vehicles.

The driver of the patrol car, 32-year-old Garda Trevor Owens, who is based at Kells Garda station, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Gary Tully at Commons of Lloyd, Kells on August 16, 2008.

Mr Tully, who was 21 at the time, died at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, after the collision.

Addressing the court Derek McInerney, who witnessed the collision, said he had been travelling towards Kells on the Virginia-Kells road at about 6pm when he was overtaken by a motorbike. The road had been partially flooded after heavy rain.

He said he had been travelling at about 50-55mph (80-89km/h), and estimated the bike was travelling at 80-90mph.

He said the motorbike had been on the right-hand side near the centre of the road when it overtook and he could see the squad car coming in the opposite direction.

In reply to prosecuting counsel Carl Hanahoe, he said the motorbike was moving into the left lane when the Garda car “violently entered the same lane at an angle” while the two vehicles were about 20ft apart. He said he noticed the motorbike’s brake lights had not come on.

“The boy on the bike had no chance to stop. He hit the back of the Garda car and went up in the air and landed on the other side of the road. When the bike hit the left side of the Garda car the patrol car straightened up and was coming towards me. I hit the brakes, we were both skidding towards each other and just stopped about an inch from a collision,” said Mr McInerney.

He rejected a suggestion from defence barrister Roderick O’Hanlon SC that the only escape manoeuvre open to the garda was to move on to the other side of the road when he saw a motorbike coming towards him at speed on the wrong side of the road.

“From my view he wanted to stop the motorbike,” Mr McInerney said.

The trial before Judge Margaret Henahan and a jury of five men and seven women continues.


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