Cyclist ‘died from injuries after being struck by vehicle’

A 42-year-old father of four died from multiple injuries after being struck by a vehicle in a hit and run accident while cycling, a court heard yesterday.

Cyclist ‘died from injuries after being struck by vehicle’

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster carried out an autopsy on the body of Paud O’Leary, at Kerry General Hospital, Tralee, on July 2, 2012, and found the injuries were mainly to his right side.

Shane Fitzgerald, of Upper Knockeen, Knockduff, Meelin, Newmarket, Co Cork, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Mr O’Leary, at Scrahanfadda, Gneeveguilla, Co Kerry, on July 1, 2012.

On the third day of the trial in Tralee, Dr Bolster said there were seven external injuries to the deceased’s head and neck; 10 to the chest and abdomen; seven to the right arm, hand and forearm; and 30 injuries to his right leg.

His right collar bone was fractured and there was also extensive bleeding in the lungs. A yellow jacket he had been wearing was torn over the right shoulder.

Dr Bolster concluded death was caused by head and neck injuries due to a fall from a bicycle into a ditch, as well as brain swelling and haemorrhage and upper spinal cord injury, in keeping with an impact with a motorised vehicle.

There was no trace of alcohol, or drugs, in his system.

Shane Fitzgerald has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing

the death of Paud O’Leary.

Mr O’Leary’s widow, Margaret, left the courtroom as Dr Bolster started giving evidence.

The court had previously been told that Mr O’Leary’s body was found in a ditch, more than a metre below road level, after being in collision with a dark grey Toyota Land Cruiser which did not stop, at around 5.15am, on July 1, 2012

A number of motorists yesterday told of passing the scene, 16km from Killarney, from 6.45am onwards, on July 1, and of seeing debris and a rucksack-type bag on the road. They avoided the debris but did not stop.

However, two cyclists, Donal Counihan and Peter McCarthy, both from Rathmore, came on the scene at around 9am and stopped.

Mr McCarthy said he saw the bag just outside the yellow margin and a mobile phone lying three or four feet away from it. He took the phone out of its case, found it was working and then placed it in the bag before putting the bag on the hedge.

Sgt David Leslie, Tralee, said a team of gardaí went to various areas in east Kerry, north-west Cork and Killarney to look for CCTV footage as part of the investigation. In all, they collected 106 CCTV exhibits from 80 locations, totalling 830 hours.

The trial resumes on Tuesday.

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