Crash victim's family in appeal to drivers

The family of a 26-year-old woman killed in a car crash where tiredness of the other driver was an aggravating factor appealed today to motorists to think about their driving when they have been out the night before.

Father-of-three, Damien Hynes, (aged 41), of 23 Sarsfield Casey Drive, Mitchelstown, was banned from driving for 12 years and given a three-year suspended jail sentence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of dangerous driving causing the death of Ciara O’Brien at Cloonlugh, Mitchelstown on April 25, 2009.

Ms O’Brien, 26, had qualified as a pharmacist at Trinity College, Dublin, and returned to work as a pharmacist in Mitchelstown two years before the fatal accident at Cloonlugh, Mitchelstown, after 6pm last April 25.

The deceased had been planning to go to mass that Saturday evening and play camogie the following morning.

In a victim impact statement not read in court but referred to by Judge Patrick J. Moran the O’Brien family and the deceased’s boyfriend, Stephen O’Connor, stressed their view that tiredness of the defendant was an aggravating factor.

Judge Moran asked the defendant if had much to drink the previous night. Hynes said that he did not have much to drink that night.

“In my view, tiredness is an aggravating factor," the Judge said.

“Over the years the Road Safety Authority have been telling us about tiredness and we should pay attention to it and unfortunately people don’t. I think that is perhaps the problem in this case,” Judge Moran said.

Sergeant Gerry Quinn said alcohol and speed were not a factor in the accident which saw Hynes’s vehicle veering across the double white lines at the centre of the road into the path of the car driven by the deceased.

Nobody suffered any serious injury in the defendant’s car.

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