04 Jul 2022

Derryman avoids driving ban following a crash in Donegal

Court gavel

A Derryman has avoided a driving ban following a crash in Donegal.

Neil Devine was charged with dangerous driving following his part in a collision on the Muff-Burnfoot road.

Devine, a 34-year-old from Seven Oaks in Derry, appeared before Buncrana District Court.

The court heard that a lorry driver told Gardai that he was driving from Muff to Burnfoot when a Vauxhall Zafira overtook him and collided with a Combo van.

The collision forced the Combo van into the side of the lorry, causing a broken wrist, which required two operations, to the van driver.

Solicitor for Devine, Mr Ciaran Mac Lochlainn, said the road in question is a ‘humpy, bumpy road’. His client was going to work at E&I engineering at the time.

“There was no question that he was going anything deliberately wrong,” Mr Mac Lochlainn said.

“That’s as bad a road as is in the country. It was a misjudgement.

“He misjudged the situation and he took responsibility for it. There was nothing downright deliberately bad. He got caught out with a manoeuvre.”

The court was told that Devine was fully insured at the time and passed a roadside breath test.

Father-of-two Devine is currently unemployed, but has a job coming up as a delivery driver, Mr Mac Lochlainn said.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said she would ‘rather reluctantly’ accept a plea to a charge of careless driving. 

“Extra care needs to be taken as opposed to taking chances,” Judge Cunningham said.

Judge Cunningham fined Devine and said she would not disqualify him on this occasion.

“He needs to take extra care,” Judge Cunningham warned. 

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