Driver not guilty of careless driving causing death

A jury took an hour and 40 minutes to return a verdict of not guilty in the case of a truck driver charged with careless driving causing the death of a two-year-old girl.

Patrick Corcoran, of Castlefarm Stud, Narraghmore, Athy, Co Kildare, pleaded not guilty at Waterford Circuit Court to driving without due care or attention, thereby causing the death of Daenerys Crosbie-Callaghan on November 18, 2014, at Manor St.

That morning, Carole Anne Crosbie attempted to cross a busy road to a nearby creche while pushing Daenerys in her buggy, when the road traffic incident involving an articulated truck occurred.

During closing statements of the three-day trial, David Humphries, prosecuting, said it comes down to the question of whether the driver of a truck should have looked in his Cyclops mirror before moving forward in a busy city centre.

Mr Humphries said it is the State’s case that Mr Corcoran failed to check the Cyclops mirror, which shows 2m in front of the truck. Had he done so, he would have seen Carole Anne and her daughter, counsel claimed. Mr Humphries said the jury had to consider if a phonecall using a hands-free Bluetooth kit had distracted the truck driver.

Mr Corcoran originally said he was not on a phone call, but later said he made a call for directions to deliver the load contained in the trailer of the truck.

Mr Humphries said it would take approximately 3.2 seconds to get from the footpath at Eden Nightclub at Manor St to the site of the incident. This, he said, was adequate time for a prudent driver to react.

Bernard Condon, defending, disagreed with the prosecution. He said nobody denies that a driver should look in a mirror before taking off. However, the jury had to determine whether the prosecution established without reasonable doubt that Mr Corcoran’s actions amounted to careless driving in a criminal context.

Mr Condon said his client did not set out that day with the motive to hurt or cause damage to anyone, or cause the appalling tragedy inflicted on the Crosbie family. He asked the jury to reject the notion of perfection and look at the facts.

“This was a terrible accident. It was cruel… It was an accumulation of events. Almost every accident has a number of sources,” he said.

After the verdict, Judge Eugene O’Neill told Mr Corcoran he was free to leave.


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