herald

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Car crossed three lanes and struck dad on school run

Tradesman Leon Murphy was trying to turn across three lanes
Tradesman Leon Murphy was trying to turn across three lanes

A dangerous driver crashed into a car in which a man was taking his young daughter to school, sending it spinning on a busy main road.

Tradesman Leon Murphy (33) was trying to turn across three lanes on his way to work when he hit the other car, a court heard.

Banning him from driving for two years, Judge Conal Gibbons said Murphy had made a "serious misjudgment", and it was "extraordinary" that there "weren't worse consequences".

As well as the disqualification, he fined him €450.

Floor-fitter Murphy, of Woodview, Ashford, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after Judge Gibbons refused to reduce the charge to the lesser offence of careless driving.

A garda told Blanchardstown District Court he was on duty at Navan Road on February 20 last year when he went to the scene of a crash between a Nissan Qashqai and a Ford Transit van.

The driver of the Qashqai was in the vehicle with his nine-year-old daughter and had been on his way to drop her to school.

Injuries

Murphy had been driving to a building site in a van leased to his employer.

He had tried to turn across three lanes when he crashed into the Qashqai, which spun several times.

The car turned right around and came to rest against the rails of a traffic island.

Judge Gibbons said it was a serious incident and traffic on the road would have been held up for a good while, "not to mention the rubber neckers".

The driver of the Qashqai had sustained soft tissue injuries, but made a full recovery.

Murphy had no previous convictions.

"It is extraordinary driving that he engaged in," the judge said.

"There could have been worse consequences.

"It's extraordinary that there weren't worse consequences. It was a serious misjudgment."

The accused was a "hard- working man" and the accident happened on his way to work, the judge said.

He gave Murphy six months to pay the fine and fixed recognisances in the event of an appeal.

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