An American tourist has been convicted of dangerous driving at Templemartin in Kilkenny and fined €2,000 for the offence which saw one woman hospitalised with a lacerated liver.
Justin Russ, with an address at 11661 Robert Road, Stockbridge, Michigan, America, was charged at Kilkenny District Court on April 17 for the Section 53 offence.
Gardaí were on mobile patrol on April 16 when they came upon the accident with one vehicle badly damaged on the left hand side of the road and another vehicle – which Mr Russ was driving – having come off the road and down into a dyke.
Mr Russ, 27, arrived in the country on Monday, April 16 at 7am when he rented and insured a car for his trip through a rental company.
The driver of the second car sustained minor injuries and a passenger suffered a liver laceration and multiple rib fractures. Mr Russ’s girlfriend was a passenger in the car he was driving and she was still in hospital at the time the case was heard.
The pair were on holidays together. A legal representative for Mr Russ told the court that his client had gotten a full seven hours sleep on the flight into Ireland.
They had a meal in a café in Dublin and Mr Russ bought a cup of coffee. The court heard, “at a certain point [Mr Russ] lost consciousness and is not fully sure how this happened”.
Mr Russ has “concerns” about how the accident happened. The defendant “did not feel tired on the day”. Mr Russ acknowledged being at fault for the collision. His breath was analysed at the scene and the result was negative.
Judge Colin Daly convicted and fined Mr Russ €2,000 and disqualified him from driving for two years.