A truck driver who has previously had 33 other convictions, including traffic offences such as drink driving and was already disqualified from driving at the time, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison and disqualified again for five years after he jumped a red light and hit an elderly Dublin cyclist, leaving her with life-changing injuries.
The cyclist, reported to be in her 60s, was going straight on Herbert Park and onto Marlborough Road before the lights turned from amber to red.
However, witnesses of the collision which took place on 22 July 2021 said that the truck driver, who was just behind her accelerated suddenly and drove at an "inappropriate speed", jumped the lights and turned left without indicating.
The cyclist was caught by the wheels of the truck, and became trapped between them, before being dragged along for about two metres. The driver only came to a stop after he was alerted by surrounding motorists who sounded their horns.
BreakingNews.ie reports that the cyclist was "just about conscious" and was taken to St Vincent's Hospital, where she spent 19 weeks — part of it in an induced coma — and underwent major surgery for her broken pelvis. She also suffered major leg trauma, along with having to pay for €4,940 for her medical bills.
The truck driver, Kevin McMenamin, aged 42, from Letterkenny in County Donegal, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm in Ballsbridge, Dublin.
The court also heard that at the time of collision, he was disqualified from driving and had 33 previous convictions, some of which were road traffic offences such as drink driving and driving without insurance, all of them being serious aggravating factors.
Judge Martin Nolan today said that McMenamin, who has 33 previous convictions including those for drink driving and driving without insurance, "showed no regard for the law of the land" and should not have been behind the wheel.
— Courts News Ireland (@courtsnewsIRL) January 19, 2024
Passing sentence on Friday, Judge Nolan said that McMenamin was not taking as much care as he should have, and he did not see the cyclist. He outlined the catastrophic injuries the elderly female cyclist suffered, how she was placed in an induced coma and spent a prolonged period of time in hospital.
Judge Nolan said the mitigation in this case was the guilty plea, the cooperation by McMenamin with gardaí, his long history of work and the impressive references given on his behalf.
The judge noted McMenamin does have previous convictions, some of which are for road traffic offences. He was disqualified on the date of the accident, which the judge said was a serious aggravating factor.
Addressing McMenamin, Judge Nolan said: "You showed no regard for the law of land, and you should not have driven." He said he must impose a custodial sentence and sentenced him to 21 months in prison. He also disqualified McMenamin from driving for five years.
The defending lawyer said that his client was extremely remorseful and was willing to compensate the victim for her medical expenses, should she be amenable. McMenamin also asked gardaí if he could visit the injured woman and also wanted to send her flowers, but was advised against this course of action by gardaí.
The defendant even added that a number of people were ready to testify for his good character and that his client has contributed positively to society, although he has "difficulty in relation to vehicles". However, the court also heard that McMenaman has had his driving licence since he was 17 years of age, and has since driven for work all over the US, UK and Ireland.
Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.