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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 11 November, 2019

Truck driver facing charges of 'dangerous driving' before court over death of elderly pedestrian

The professional truck driver, was driving through a green traffic light in heavy traffic around lunch time on the day in question.

A TRUCK DRIVER who stopped his vehicle in heavy traffic before moving forward and crushing an elderly pedestrian was “inattentive” and should be found guilty of dangerous driving causing death, a jury has been told.

Oleksandr Hrudovyy (47), of Latchford Green, Clonee, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of William Carrick at Swords Road, Cloghran, Dublin on 22 May, 2015.

The trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which opened last week, heard Mr Hrudovyy, a professional truck driver, was driving through a green traffic light in heavy traffic around lunch time on the day in question.

He came to a stop in traffic with the rear of the 16.9 metre truck across the pedestrian crossing.

Mr Carrick (80) had just left a nearby pub and was trying to cross the road in front of the truck, when Mr Hrudovyy moved the truck forward, crushing Mr Carrick. Mr Carrick died of multiple fractures and blood loss, the jury heard.

The prosecution alleges Mr Hrudovyy was driving dangerously at the time, was inattentive and did not check his mirrors before moving the vehicle forward.

In dashcam footage shown to the jury, Mr Carrick could be seen crossing in front of the truck. Mr Hrudovyy told gardaí he did not see Mr Carrick at all.

In his closing speech today, Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, told the jury of nine men and three women not to let the emotion of the case get the better of them.

He said they had heard evidence Mr Carrick was a well-liked, sociable man but they must not let this affect their deliberations. “Be cold and dispassionate,” he said.

He said that Mr Hrudovyy was a professional truck driver who stopped his truck in the middle of a pedestrian crossing. When he then moved the truck forward, the prosecution case was that Mr Hrudovyy “should have carried out a number of checks”.

“The prosecution case is that the actions of Mr Hrudovyy, his inattention, caused the accident and ultimately caused the death of Mr Carrick,” Mr McCormack said, urging the jury to return a guilty verdict. “He was inattentive.”

In his closing speech, defence barrister Dominic McGinn SC said the jury had a very difficult job.

“You have to make a decision about Mr Hrudovyy based on three minutes of his life,” Mr McGinn said. “And that will have a profound effect on his life.”

Mr McGinn submitted the Supreme Court has ruled that the definition of dangerous driving involves “direct, immediate and serious risk to the public”. He said none of the evidence in the case had any of the factors which are common in a case involving dangerous driving.

The jury had heard Mr Hrudovyy had no alcohol or drugs in his system, was not tired, was not speeding and his vehicle was in good condition.

Mr McGinn said the “inescapable conclusion” was that Mr Hrudovvy did not see Mr Carrick and there was no evidence he did not carry out any checks before moving his truck forward. He submitted the dashcam view is not the view of the driver.

He said it was also possible Mr Carrick was in a blind spot when Mr Hrudovyy moved the truck forward.

Stopping on a pedestrian crossing was “inconsiderate” but not dangerous, he told the jury.

Mr McGinn said Mr Carrick wasn’t using the pedestrian crossing, had “a bit of drink” on him and he cited one witness who said Mr Carrick was “weaving through traffic”.

“This is not a case of dangerous driving or careless driving,” Mr McGinn said. “It’s a case of Mr Hrudovyy doing his honest best in a difficult situation and perhaps the tragic misjudgment on the part of the pedestrian.”

He urged the jury to return a verdict of not guilty. Judge Karen O’Connor has started her direction to the jury and will continue tomorrow.

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Isabel Hayes

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