A VAN driver was guilty of “classic dangerous driving” by emerging onto a main road and into the path of a motorcyclist who was seriously injured.
Yesterday, at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Zydryus Palaibis, of Patrick Street, Bandon, County Cork, got a one-year suspended sentence and a five-year driving ban, for dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Gef Dickson.
Garda Nigel Whelton testified that the incident occurred after 10pm on November 19, 2018, when the defendant finished a shift at the industrial estate and drove onto the main Bandon-to-Dunmanway road without stopping, causing the collision with the motorbike.
Gef Dickson was thrown from his motorbike and sustained serious injuries and has been undergoing a very long recovery.
In his victim impact statement, Mr Dickson said that he used to walk long distances and hike for pleasure, but that now he was more limited.
He said he had returned to cycling on a push-bike, but that it was a psychological hurdle to get back on the road. Mr Dickson said he did so to reclaim some of the life he had before the injuries.
Elizabeth O’Connell, senior counsel for the accused, said the Lithuanian was a hard-working man, who sent back as much money as he could to support his college-going children in Lithuania.
Ms O’Connell said the defendant did slow down and did see the bike, but misjudged the distance when he drove into the path of the motorbike.
The senior counsel said the defendant had shown huge remorse.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said one of the first principles of driving in the dark was not to estimate distances of other vehicles.
“The motorcyclist never had a chance,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.
“The (van) pulled out in front of him.
“It is classic dangerous driving: emerging like this and having disregard for the motorcyclist, who suffered appalling, almost life-threatening injuries,” the judge said.
Palaibis, aged 43, was given a one-year suspended sentence and disqualified from driving for five years.