herald

Monday 18 February 2019

Truck driver avoids jail over M50 crash that killed woman

Truck driver Barry Grogan
Truck driver Barry Grogan

A truck driver who crashed into a broken down car on the M50, causing the death of its driver, has received a fully-suspended sentence.

Barry Grogan (38), of Thornville Avenue, Kilbarrack, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to careless driving causing the death of Martina Loughlin near the M50 Lucan junction on November 11, 2015.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Grogan to one year's imprisonment but suspended the entirety of the sentence for a year, providing he keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

He also suspended Grogan from driving for four years, starting on March 18 this year.

Sergeant Padraig Jennings told Paul Murray SC, prosecuting, that just before 5am on the morning in question, Ms Loughlin was driving to her job in UCD when her car broke down and stopped on the M50 near the Lucan junction.

She sat in her car for around 17 minutes before the crash, attempting to contact her insurance company while vehicles navigated around her.

Witnesses reported being able to see the car's hazard lights, despite torrential rain.

Grogan was driving a Volvo lorry, which struck Ms Loughlin's car and propelled it 60 metres down the road.

A second vehicle drove into Ms Loughlin's car around seven seconds after the first impact. The driver of this truck does not face prosecution.

Ms Loughlin was taken from the scene and pronounced dead on November 14, 2015.

In a voluntary statement given to gardai a month after accident, Grogan said he did not see the hazard warning lights before the incident.

He said it had changed his life forever and he "really wished" it had never happened.

Devastating

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Ms Loughlin's partner and extended family described the "devastating loss" they had suffered.

"Our hearts froze in November 2015 and we fear they may never thaw," they said.

In considering the sentence, Judge Nolan remarked that he did not think "there is a person in this court who hasn't been inattentive" and said that he himself had been guilty of inattention while driving.

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