Trucks collided when man lay in the road
A Portlaoise man caused two trucks to collide after he lay down in the middle of the motorway, in what defence suggested was an attempt on his own life.
Darren McInerney, 32, with a previous listed address at New Road, Portlaoise, was charged with endangerment, at junction 17 on the M7 at Vicarstown, Co. Laois, on April 19, 2017.
Garda Considine gave evidence, along with State prosecutor, Mr Will Fennelly, that when gardaí arrived at the scene on that date, they found the accused sitting at the side of the motorway, where two trucks had collided. The accused was roaring and crying when the gardaí arrived.
The drivers of the trucks told gardaí that they had come to the junction and found the accused lying on the motorway, so they had to take evasive action as he was lying in the middle of the road.
“He was highly intoxicated and wasn’t making much sense, he was crying and roaring,” said Garda Considine.
The accused was brought to hospital. He was highly intoxicated at the time and was a danger to himself and others.
The court heard that the accused had since served a prison sentence and had recently been released.
He had 98 previous convictions.
Defence barrister, Mr Colm Hennessy said that the accused had been fairly distressed and out of his mind at the time.
Garda Considine confirmed that the accused had said people were chasing him and he had to get away, but there was no one else in the area at the time.
Referring to the accused’s interview with garda, Mr Hennessy said that the accused had been taking drugs all day and he remembered “being chased by Dublin lads” before he ran across the motorway and passed out.
He told gardaí that he owed money for drugs and he did not remember how he got on the motorway. He said he could remember jumping out of a car and running away, as he thought he was going to be killed.
Mr Hennessy suggested that the incident looked like a suicide or some desperate attempt to end his own life. Garda Considine agreed that it could look like that.
Defence went on to say that the accused had suffered chronic difficulties with substances, but he is now addressing these issues.
Judge Keenan Johnson said it was an incredibly crazy action to take, which certainly suggested an element of suicidal ideation. He noted the accused had since served a sentence and been released, with a suspended sentence hanging over him
The matter was adjourned to December 3, for the court to monitor the accused’s progress. If the accused is seeking treatment for his addictions, the judge said he would impose a non-custodial sentence.