A young driver admitted he fell asleep at the wheel at 7.20 a.m. driving 170 kilometres to Gweedore after a night working in a night-club. Donegal District Court was told that Jarlath Dodd’s vehicle pitched into the back of a van but luckily there wasn’t much damage.
Dodd, 20, said he had been working in the bar at a night-club attached to the Landmark Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon and he got home at about 4 a.m. to Balindoon, Riverstown, Co. Sligo on July 17 last. He was up again at 6 a.m. to drive about 170 kilometres to Gweedore, where he was due on a Fas course at 8.30 a.m. When he passed a filling station at Laghey village outside Donegal town he felt tired and did a U-turn at 7.20 a.m. to go back and buy a coffee. He said at that stage he lost his concentration and when he re-opened his eyes he knew there was a collisionHe told Judge Kevin Kilrane: “I realise I should have had more rest.” Dodd, who was training to be an electrician in Gweedore at the same time as he was working over weekends the night-club, told the judge he stopped working nights after the incident. Inspector Denis Joyce told the court that both drivers were breathalysed and there was no alcohol.
Judge Kilrane applied the Probation Act for the careless driving offence at Tullagallen, Donegal.