Drunk driver jailed after rolling car, narrowly missing children
A drunk driver narrowly missed a car full of children when he rolled his own speeding car, ploughed through a traffic light post and hit another vehicle outside a Dublin hospital.
Alan Lynch (54) was more than three times the limit when he agreed to pick up a friend from a hospital appointment. A recovering alcoholic, he did not want to admit he had relapsed after 17 years, a court heard.
The woman driving the car he struck hit her head but escaped uninjured. Another car with three children inside lifted up off the ground from the "air impact" and they were left "emotionally upset".
Judge Grainne Malone jailed Lynch for two months and banned him from driving for four years, saying the sentence should be a "deterrent".
Lynch, a widower who had admitted drunk and dangerous driving, immediately served appeal notice and was released on bail.
Gda Marta Radziul told Dublin District Court that the two cars were stopped at a junction at 8.50pm on April 9 last year.
Lynch was turning right on to St James's Street when he lost control and his car rolled on to its side and hit a traffic light post.
It then rolled over again and hit the car with the lone driver.
The children in the car he narrowly missed were aged 10, 11 and 14.
Four garda vehicles and Dublin Fire Brigade attended the scene and the accused and his passenger were trapped inside his car, which was on its side. Both had to be cut out.
Lynch was argumentative with a paramedic and was visibly intoxicated, Gda Radziul said. He eventually went in the ambulance to hospital.
The court heard he had a drink driving conviction dating from 2000.
The accused had managed a B&B for the homeless with his wife, but she died in 2015 and he began drinking again.
He was not able to continue with that work and lost his home as the B&B was owned by Dublin City Council. He now lives at Back Lane Hostel in the inner city.
On the day, he got a call to pick up a friend and, as nobody knew he was drinking again, he did not want to tell her why he would not be able to collect her, his barrister said.
Sentencing him, Judge Malone said others "could have lost people dear to them" in the accident and Lynch was lucky he was not before a higher court on much more serious charges.