Man on trial for causing death of council worker

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A trial of a man charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a Sligo County Council worker and injury to others has opened at Sligo Circuit Court.

Before the court is Vlastimil Zachar, of Connell Drive, Newbridge who has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Padraig Noone and injury to Anthony Feigheney and Damien Davey on August 13, 2015 at Castlebaldwin in Sligo.

Prosecuting Barrister, Orla Crowe outlined the case to the jury of four women and eight men.

She said that on August 13, 2015, Zachar had been the driver of a Scania articulated truck with a trailer attached.

She told the jury that Zachar had come to an area of the road where Sligo County Council had men working to clear drains and trim verges as well as litter picking.

“Pardraig Noone was a married man who worked part time for the Council and has grown up children,” she said.

Ms Crowe said that 6.2km from the works there was a message warning motorists of ‘verge trimming ahead’.

Another sign was located 270 metres from the work as well as 160 metres and also on a council owned Mitsubishi crew cab which was a vehicle carrying out some of the works.

She told the jury that the Mitsubishi was driven by Gary Glynn who would give evidence to the trial later.

Ahead of that vehicle was a JCB driven by Anthony Feigheney and three abreast on the road ahead of that was Thomas Collery, Damien Davey and the late Padraig Noone.

Ms Crowe told the jury that the three men were “working inside the hard shoulder” and that all three were “wearing high visibility safety gear”.

She said that the day in question was “dry, bright and clear”.

Ms Crowe told the jury that Vlastimil Zachar approached the road heading for Sligo and veered off colliding with the Mitsubishi which was forced up onto the embankment.

She said that the Scania truck was spun around and continued on to hit the JCB on the rear boom and slammed onto the embankment.

The court heard that Padraig Noone was “directly impacted by the JCB and partially trapped”.

Ms Crowe said that Damien Davey was “thrown into the air” and Gerry Glynn was also impacted along with Anthony Feigheney who was in the JCB.

In the immediate aftermath, a doctor was brought to scene to attend to Padraig Noone.

Ms Crowe said that Anthony Feigheney was brought away by air ambulance while Damien Davey and Vlastimil Zachar were brought by ambulance to Sligo University Hospital.

She said that a blood sample was taken from Zachar and that there was no alcohol found.

On August 16, 2015, Ms Crowe said that Vlastimil Zachar was interviewed by gardai and arrested.

She told the jury that the trial is expected to last two weeks. It will continue on Tuesday next.

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