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Thursday 19 October 2017

Driver jailed for four years after friend killed in crash

Russell Hickey pleaded guilty to three separate charges relating to the crash that killed Wayne Twamley. (Stock picture)
Russell Hickey pleaded guilty to three separate charges relating to the crash that killed Wayne Twamley. (Stock picture)

A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to four years in prison in relation to a drink-driving crash that killed his best friend.

Russell Hickey pleaded guilty to three separate charges relating to the crash that killed Wayne Twamley, included setting fire to the car after the accident.

In a victim impact statement read by counsel Sarah Nolan, the mother of 23-year-old Mr Twamley described how "a void" had been left in her family's life following his death.

The crash happened in the early hours of May 11, 2014 on the R725 at Croneyhorn, Shillelagh, Co Wicklow.

At Wicklow Circuit Court yesterday, Hickey, of Deerpark, Shillelagh, pleaded guilty to three charges - dangerous driving leading to death, perverting the course of justice and driving without insurance.

The court heard how Hickey and Mr Twamley had been socialising at a pub in Rathnew the previous night before they drove to Gorey, Co Wexford.

Gda Adrian Tucker said the pair later returned to the pub in Rathnew, where the accused had at least two alcoholic drinks.

Hickey then drove along the R725 near Shillelagh where the car spun out of control and hit a ditch before performing three full rotations and ending up 73 metres up the road.

Mr Twamley was thrown from the car's rear window and died at the scene.

Fled

Forensic examinations estimated that the vehicle was travelling at around 132kph at the time of the collision in a 80kph zone.

Counsel for the DPP told the court that Hickey fled in the immediate aftermath of the crash to his nearby home.

He later returned and set fire to his vehicle, a Volskwagen Golf.

Before the court, an emotional Hickey said that he was "very sorry" for what had happened.

The presiding judge sentenced him to four years in prison, while suspending the final 18 months.

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