A 19-year-old Cork City FC player was reminded today that he was going to have to live with the fact that his dangerous driving had caused the death of another man.
19-year-old Edward Power McCarthy of 66 College Avenue, Moyross, County Limerick, was given a two-year suspended jail sentence and seven-year driving ban at Cork Circuit Criminal Court today where he pleaded guilty.
The charge stated that he was guilty of dangerous driving causing the death of Andrzej Obalek on February 18 at Ballybeg West, Buttevant, County Cork.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin repeated to the accused man that he was going to have to live with what the dead man’s sister had said in her victim impact statement.
She said, “You have robbed me of my brother. The greatest punishment you will have is living with the knowledge of having killed someone.”
The 55-year-old Polish man who was killed in the head-on collision was a Jehovah witness and he was driving home to Cork city after visiting friends in Limerick on that evening.
Sergeant Tony Cronin said the defendant was driving back in the Buttevant direction having attended training with Cork city at CIT that evening.
The young man escaped with minor injuries as did his three passengers. However, the deceased’s car was struck at the front when the defendant’s car went on to its incorrect side. The deceased was forced into a ditch and died instantly.
Sgt. Cronin said the defendant was driving is Audi A3 at excessive speed.
The defendant read a letter from the defendant in which he expressed his sincere sympathy to the family of the deceased.
He said it was a routine journey and he never intended to cause anyone such a loss by his actions. But he said it ended in horror.
“I pray to God for him and his family every day,” the young man said.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said it was a difficult case with one aggravating factor, namely speed.
The judge said one would not need to use that road very often to know how bad the Ballybeg bends are. The judge said it was not that the driver was taken by surprise by the bends but that he lost control as a result of his own excessive speed.