A RETIRED teacher who
fell asleep at the wheel of his car and caused a
head-on crash was fined this week at Carndonagh
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.