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Red-light jumping truck driver already disqualified from driving imprisoned for 21 months for severely injuring elderly cyclist

The driver had 33 previous convictions, including numerous road traffic offences such as drink-driving and driving without insurance before the incident in Dublin in 2021

A truck driver who has previously had 33 other convictions, including traffic offences such as drink driving and was already disqualified from driving at the time, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison and disqualified again for five years after he jumped a red light and hit an elderly Dublin cyclist, leaving her with life-changing injuries.

The cyclist, reported to be in her 60s, was going straight on Herbert Park and onto Marlborough Road before the lights turned from amber to red.

However, witnesses of the collision which took place on 22 July 2021  said that the truck driver, who was just behind her accelerated suddenly and drove at an "inappropriate speed", jumped the lights and turned left without indicating.

The cyclist was caught by the wheels of the truck, and became trapped between them, before being dragged along for about two metres. The driver only came to a stop after he was alerted by surrounding motorists who sounded their horns.

> Cyclist hit by truck driver has compensation cut after judge says lack of helmet contributed to injuries

BreakingNews.ie reports that the cyclist was "just about conscious" and was taken to St Vincent's Hospital, where she spent 19 weeks — part of it in an induced coma — and underwent major surgery for her broken pelvis. She also suffered major leg trauma, along with having to pay for €4,940 for her medical bills.

The truck driver, Kevin McMenamin, aged 42, from Letterkenny in County Donegal, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

The court also heard that at the time of collision, he was disqualified from driving and had 33 previous convictions, some of which were road traffic offences such as drink driving and driving without insurance, all of them being serious aggravating factors.

Passing sentence on Friday, Judge Nolan said that McMenamin was not taking as much care as he should have, and he did not see the cyclist. He outlined the catastrophic injuries the elderly female cyclist suffered, how she was placed in an induced coma and spent a prolonged period of time in hospital.

Judge Nolan said the mitigation in this case was the guilty plea, the cooperation by McMenamin with gardaí, his long history of work and the impressive references given on his behalf.

The judge noted McMenamin does have previous convictions, some of which are for road traffic offences. He was disqualified on the date of the accident, which the judge said was a serious aggravating factor.

Addressing McMenamin, Judge Nolan said: "You showed no regard for the law of land, and you should not have driven." He said he must impose a custodial sentence and sentenced him to 21 months in prison. He also disqualified McMenamin from driving for five years.

> 88-year-old motorist avoids jail after causing the death of a cyclist who she hit “without noticing”

The defending lawyer said that his client was extremely remorseful and was willing to compensate the victim for her medical expenses, should she be amenable. McMenamin also asked gardaí if he could visit the injured woman and also wanted to send her flowers, but was advised against this course of action by gardaí.

The defendant even added that a number of people were ready to testify for his good character and that his client has contributed positively to society, although he has "difficulty in relation to vehicles". However, the court also heard that McMenaman has had his driving licence since he was 17 years of age, and has since driven for work all over the US, UK and Ireland.

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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12 comments

Avatar
essexian | 6 months ago
9 likes

And while I am having a rant, I do hope the company that employed this arsehold... lose their licence to operate for what must have been knowlingly allowed a banned driver to drive one of their trucks. 

If he was an owner/ driver, then the short time inside and ban makes it even worse. Lets hope the victim sues him for every cent he will ever earn. 

 

Avatar
Bungle_52 replied to essexian | 5 months ago
2 likes
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qwerty360 replied to Bungle_52 | 5 months ago
1 like

I can accept debates about what point the company becomes liable, but eventually it should happen.

 

IMHO companies should be expected to check licences of those driving for them as significant part of role periodically.

The period between checks should be shorter for more dangerous vehicles.

 

For example in the case Bungle just posted, it appears the police driver was caught within a month, ~1/2 way through the year, plausibly by periodic checks. This to me is perfectly reasonable. 

 

The issue is when you discover trucking firms with drivers killing people who haven't held a valid licence to drive an HGV at any point in their employment. I.e. the company has never checked despite the dvla providing a relatively easy way to do this (yes, you get charged, but on the grand scheme of costs of employing someone the charges really aren't that high.)

Avatar
eburtthebike | 6 months ago
10 likes

"The defending lawyer said that his client was extremely remorseful and was willing to compensate the victim for her medical expenses, should she be amenable."

Gosh, how generous.  I imagine his insurance, if he has any, will be paying that anyway.

The big question is why was he driving a truck?  Was he employed to drive it?  Was it his truck?  Either way, someone hasn't done due diligence and is just as responsible for the poor woman's injuries as the driver.

“Culture of recklessness” has developed on roads, says minister...." https://road.cc/content/news/cycling-live-blog-16-january-2024-306207

Avatar
Backladder replied to eburtthebike | 6 months ago
4 likes
eburtthebike wrote:

"The defending lawyer said that his client was extremely remorseful and was willing to compensate the victim for her medical expenses, should she be amenable."

Gosh, how generous.  I imagine his insurance, if he has any, will be paying that anyway.

I think his insurance company might use the lack of a licence to avoid paying out and to be honest I wouldn't blame them.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Backladder | 6 months ago
8 likes

One would imagine that the (expletive deleted) who didn't care about driving on a suspended licence wasn't bothered about getting insurance anyway, and as you say if he did have the suspended licence would almost certainly invalidate it. Fortunately Ireland, like the UK, has a Motor Insurance Bureau that pays out for damages caused by uninsured drivers, so hopefully the poor victim won't be out of pocket, at least.

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essexian | 6 months ago
23 likes

Why is this scum ever getting his licence back? 

Not that that would stop him from driving. Frankly, cut a hand and a foot of this twat off. Only that may stop him. 

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NOtotheEU replied to essexian | 5 months ago
6 likes
essexian wrote:

Why is this scum ever getting his licence back? 

But he has "difficulty in relation to vehicles" so it's not really his fault!

Avatar
mitsky replied to essexian | 5 months ago
1 like

My usuall suggested answer to extreme cases like this is permanent loss of taste buds and libido.
Only when people face a real consequence for such serious crimes will they think twice.

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Muddy Ford | 6 months ago
14 likes

And no suprise this story isn't splashed on every newspaper headline for the next 3 days (unlike RLJ cyclists in Surrey, or 39mph cyclists going into village a few weeks ago) 

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mctrials23 | 6 months ago
25 likes

I mean, holy fuck. On one side we have a guy with 33 previous convictions, nearly killed a woman and only didn't by blind luck and on the other side we have the fact he cooperated with police, works and has mates who can vouch that hes an upstanding bloke. 

I'm sure when this utter scumbag gets out and actually kills somone it will be a complete shock. Perhaps his long history of work and good references will help him out again eh. 

Mind, utterly blown.

Oh and if you want to further lose faith in humanity, go read the twitter replies. Seems the majority of people feel very strongly about this. No, not the bit where this scumbag nearly murdered someone, the bit where it says "ex-GAA star".

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to mctrials23 | 6 months ago
4 likes
road.cc wrote:

McMenamin also asked gardaí if he could visit the injured woman and also wanted to send her flowers, but was advised against this course of action by gardaí.

Further comment is superfluous - except that for those who feel the problem with driving is just "bad apples" on the roads, they've got a new poster boy.

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