herald

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Driver 'panicked' and led gardai on dangerous chase

Quinn lost control of his car and crashed into a lamppost
Quinn lost control of his car and crashed into a lamppost

An unlicensed and uninsured driver led gardai on an "extremely dangerous" chase for 20km on a motorway after he panicked on seeing a patrol car.

Gary Quinn (23) failed to stop and forced other traffic to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

Quinn was arrested after he eventually left the motorway and crashed into a lamppost.

The accused, of Reuben Street, Rialto, admitted eight counts of dangerous driving, as well as failing to stop for gardai, and having no licence or insurance.

Judge John Lindsay ordered a probation report and adjourned the case for finalisation on a later date.

Garda David Costigan told Dublin District Court he was called to Walkinstown Road on April 25 last year.

The accused drove at speed through traffic lights and past the patrol car.

The gardai turned and followed the car, which drove through a pedestrian crossing at the junction with Long Mile Road.

It took an illegal left turn and sped through a red light at the junction with Walkinstown Avenue, continuing through another red light at the Robinhood Road junction.

Evasive

Quinn weaved in and out of traffic on the Naas Road, forcing vehicles to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

He sped onto the M50 northbound, forcing traffic out of the way, then on to the M3 in the direction of Blanchardstown.

He narrowly avoided colliding with another car attempting to exit the motorway.

The accused continued on the M3 into Co Meath, before he exited at the Dunboyne slip road, where he lost control of the car and drove across oncoming traffic before colliding with a lamppost.

The incident took place after 7pm on a Sunday, but the roads were busy.

"It's an appalling vista of driving," defence barrister Shaun Smyth said. "He is thankful that no injuries occurred, or any damage other than to his own vehicle."

When Quinn came to the attention of the gardai, his heart rate was up, he panicked and drove off.

"He couldn't resile from his actions and he led the gardai on a lengthy and extremely dangerous chase," Mr Smyth said.

Quinn had problems with cocaine, Zimovane and benzodiazepines, which he was now dealing with.

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