Driver avoids jail following fatal crash

A driver has avoided a prison sentence in the first case of careless driving causing death to be dealt with by the courts.

Driver avoids jail following fatal crash

The Director of Public Prosecutions had accepted a plea of guilty to the charge (distinct from the more usual offence of dangerous driving causing death) from Stephen Faughnan following the deaths of his two friends.

Stephen Faughnan, who is in his early 20s and from Ballinalee, Newtownforbes, Co Longford, admitted driving carelessly at Stonepark, Co Longford, causing the deaths of Gavin Doyle, 22, and Thomas Kearney, 22.

Faughnan had been driving a Honda Civic on June 22, 2012, when it struck a wall and overturned on the Kenagh to Longford road.

Mr Kearney and Mr Doyle were passengers in the car and were both killed instantly. Another passenger, Kayleigh McGann, Mr Kearney’s girlfriend, was seriously injured, but recovered after being hospitalised.

A previous sitting of Longford Circuit Court heard that the group of friends had been travelling from Kenagh to Longford for a night out.

A second group of friends were first on the scene of the tragedy. They had tried to help, but both men died at the scene.

In court yesterday, defence barrister, Paul Gunning told Judge Tony Hunt that Faughnan had been breathalysed and he had no alcohol in his system. In addition, he held a driving licence and was driving within the speed limit.

In lieu of two years in prison, the judge imposed an order for 240 hours of community service and disqualified Faughnan from holding a driving licence for five years.

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