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Retired teacher fell asleep at wheel 17.11.11

A RETIRED teacher who fell asleep at the wheel of his car and caused a head-on crash was fined this week at Carndonagh court.
Kenneth Murphy (70), Derry Road, Moville, admitted careless driving causing the accident at Mullins, Carndonagh, on January 10, this year.
The collision happened at 4.20pm between the defendant's vehicle and a car driven by a Bus Eireann employee, Carndonagh District Court heard on Tuesday. Both men were treated by ambulance personnel but neither sustained life-threatening injuries. The defendant was given oxygen at the scene. Mr Murphy, a married man with three adult children, asked Judge Paul Kelly if he could address the court. He said it was his first prosecution and his "first ever motor accident". "It was a momentary lapse in judgement," he said. He said he broke his wrist trying to steer clear of the oncoming car but "it ended up badly". “I apologise to all the people involved,” he added.
Defence solicitor, Ray Lannon, said his client, a pensioner who formerly taught business studies at second level, "had had a long day" after driving to Letterkenny for an eye test. He said his client had made a full and frank admission to gardaí that he fell asleep at the wheel before the crash. He asked the judge not to disqualify him from driving as he lived in a rural area and relied heavily on his car. Judge Kelly said the case underlined the message of advertising campaigns highlighting the need for tired drivers to take a rest. He imposed a fine of €100 but spared the defendant a driving ban.
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