Donegal man charged with dangerous driving causing death

The collision occurred on a long straight stretch of road and on a broken white line.

By Staff Reporter

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Donegal man charged with dangerous driving causing death

A Donegal man who was driving a jeep and trailer has denied dangerous driving causing the death of a motorcyclist who died after he collided with the trailer.

David McCauley (36) of Drumkeen, Lifford has gone on trial at Letterkenny Circuit Court charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a Hugh Shalvey at Magherasolis, Raphoe on October 29th, 2014.

Mr McCauley has denied dangerous driving, using a trailer when not equipped with rear lights, using a trailer not equipped with brake lights and using a trailer not equipped with side lights.

Counsel for the State, Patricia McLaughlin (BL), told a jury of three women and nine men that Mr McCauley was driving a Toyota Landcruiser pulling a trailer that had no working lights.

Mr Shalvey, who was originally from Co. Monaghan, was driving a Honda 900 motorcycle in the same direction as the accused’s vehicle. The collision occurred as both vehicles traveled towards Raphoe.

The speed limit governing the road was 80 kmph and Mr Shalvey was estimated by gardaí to be travelling at a speed of 101 kmph.

The collision occurred on a long straight stretch of road and on a broken white line.

Mr Shalvey overtook two cars before he collided with Mr McCauley’s Landcruiser and trailer.

As the motorcyclist overtook the two cars Mr McCauley turned right into a farmyard. The prosecution's case is that the lights were not working on the trailer, there was no indicator that showed he was turning right and Mr McCauley failed to see the motorcyclist.

Ms McLaughlin said that as Mr McCauley turned right Mr Shalvey hit his brakes and became separated from the motorcycle.

She said it was a very tragic case not just for the family of the victim but also for Mr McCauley.

Maura Toland from Carrickdawson, Raphoe told Judge Terence O’Sullivan that she was driving towards Raphoe behind the jeep and trailer at around 3pm.

She was travelling about 40 miles per hour when she saw the motorcyclist coming in her right mirror.

The motorcyclist passed her and she said he was not going too fast, travelling at a steady pace when he was overtaking her.

She saw the trailer in front turning right into a lane.

“I heard a loud bang and the bike went into the trailer,” she said.

She said she saw the rider come off the bike and then saw him lying on the road.

Brigid Gallagher from Porthall, Lifford was also driving along the road. She said it was a beautiful bright evening. When the motorcycle overtook her “there was nothing untoward” about it, she said.

Shortly after that she he noticed debris and saw the motorcycle lying on the road.

She said she did not witness the collision.

She could hear the driver of the jeep shouting into his phone to get help. She pulled into the side and got out her rosary beads to pray for the motorcyclist.

“I prayed for his parents and the motorcyclist and any relatives he would have,” she said.

The trial continues.