US honeymooner found guilty of careless driving

An American honeymooner, arrested for taking a wrong turn in Cork, found himself before the district court yesterday.

Wesley Pruitt, from Idaho, got disorientated after a long day’s driving and collided with another car as he drove out of a garage.

Mr Pruitt’s wife suffered minor injuries and one of the people in the other car sustained three broken ribs, Inspector Finbarr O’Sullivan said yesterday at Cork District Court.

Mr Pruitt, from Frontier Road, Jerome, Idaho, was arrested by Garda Aisling Murphy and charged with dangerous driving.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said the prosecution was prepared to accept a plea of guilty to the lesser charge of careless driving if that was acceptable to Judge Leo Malone. The judge accepted that.

Garda Murphy testified that the American visitor got confused as he drove out of a garage on Bandon Road and in effect did not wait until his passage was clear and caused the collision with the other car.

Mr Buttimer said the rental car was fully insured, the defendant had no previous convictions and he co-operated fully with the investigation.

The solicitor said Mr Pruitt had been honeymooning in Ireland with his wife for the past fortnight and had become disorientated on the journey on Wednesday, July 13 and had ended up on the wrong road before the lunchtime accident occurred. Mr Buttimer suggested that it was not an overt act of dangerous driving but was certainly at the upper end of carelessness.

Judge Malone fined him €400, which was paid immediately, on the careless driving charge. “I understand, it is quite easy to make a mistake, it has happened to many Irish people on the continent,” the judge said.


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