Poor parking during visit led to crash death of driver’s friend, court told

A fatal crash was caused by the manner in which an elderly woman parked when visiting the family of the man who was subsequently killed, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.

Mary Meade, aged 70, of Lissard, Galbally, yesterday pleaded not guilty to parking a car in a dangerous manner and creating substantial risk of injury.

The alleged offence occurred at Ballyfuta, Ballylanders, when Ms Meade stopped to visit the Corbett family on Nov 26, 2010.

John O’Sullivan BL, for the prosecution, said it was a very sad case as Jim Corbett, aged 80, a friend of Ms Meade, died when a car struck her parked car.

Finbarr O’Sullivan said he was driving home to Fermoy, Co Cork, from work in Co Galway. As he drove towards Ballylanders he was blinded by lights as he came around a bend. He could not see where he was going. His car went out of control and hit a ditch.

On getting out of his car, he became aware of what had caused the problem — a car parked on his left with the lights on.

“I had not idea where I was, because I was blinded by the lights of the car on my left off the bend,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

On going up the road, he came on the parked car and the driver’s door was open.

He told Ms Meade how he was nearly killed when he was blinded by the lights on her car and asker her to turn off her lights and move the car.

Mr O’Sullivan told her if she did not move her car, she would end up killing somebody. To illustrate how he was blinded by the lights, Mr O’Sullivan asked Ms Meade to go up the road and take a look for herself. He pleaded with her for about five or six minutes and was dumbfounded by her reaction, he said.

When he went to get his mobile phone from his car he heard a collision and a woman screaming. On going back to Ms Meade’s car, he saw a 4x4 embedded in it and another car was embedded in the 4x4. The driver of the 4x4 said he had not been able to see a thing, and the driver of the car which hit the 4x4 said he had had nowhere to go and did not know where he was.

Cross-examined by Mark Nicholas BL, for Ms Meade, Mr O’Sullivan said he was comfortable in his driving, but found the road disappear with the blindness caused by the lights.

Asked if he called Ms Meade “a stupid bitch” after he approached her, Mr O’Sullivan said he could not remember how strongly he put the emphasis of what he said, as he was so worried about the situation.

Mr O’Sullivan said a man died because of Mrs Meade’s disregard for what he had said to her about her lights.

The trial continues.

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