Man denies dangerous driving charge over three-year-old's death in Letterkenny

Tuesday 30 April 2013 22.16
Man denies driving charge but admits not having a valid driving licence at Letterkenny Circuit Court
Man denies driving charge but admits not having a valid driving licence at Letterkenny Circuit Court

The trial has begun at Letterkenny Circuit Court of a 61-year-old man charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a three- year-old boy.

Alex McDaid of Bomany, Letterkenny was driving a bin lorry at the time of the incident in which Patrick McDonagh was killed.

Mr McDaid has pleaded not guilty to the charge of dangerous driving causing death but pleaded guilty to not having a valid driving licence at the time.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Patricia McLaughlin said that on 16 February 2010, Patrick was playing in the front garden of his home at The Green, Ballymacool, Letterkenny with his twin sister Megan.

The family dog had taken his ball and his father came out to get it back.

The ball was returned to Patrick but the jury was told the three-year-old dropped it and when it went rolling down the garden path  he ran after it.

She said Mr McDaid was reversing the bin lorry up by the McDonagh's house, which was on a hill, and Patrick collided with the lorry, fell and the two rear wheels ran over him.

The little boy's father, also Patrick, said when his son ran after the ball he shouted at him and said he was roaring at the bin lorry driver who was reversing up the street.

Mr McDonagh became upset as he described how his son was hit by the lorry, fell down and the back wheels of the lorry ran over him.

His wife Shirley was in the kitchen at the time and told the court that she heard her husband shouting and knew something was wrong.

She said she ran to the front door and saw the wheels go over her son, she ran to him and picked him up. Mrs McDonagh said the little boy was gasping for air and she was breathing into him.

She said a nurse and then an ambulance arrived and she went to the hospital with her son.

The court heard Patrick was pronounced dead as a result of multiple head injuries.