A Two Mile House man appeared at Naas Circuit Court last Friday, July 6, charged with a number of offences as a result of an incident in which he failed to remain at the scene after his car hit a pedestrian.
Gerard Hayden, with an address listed as 2a Stephenstown Lawns, Two Mile House, was involved in a traffic accident at Dublin road, Naas, on December 23 last.
In the early hours of the morning, he was driving with his family to Dublin Airport when his car collided with Clive Casey at the Crossings in Naas.
Mr Casey was on his way home from the pub at approximately 4.30am that morning and had drink taken.
At the time, Mr Hayden stopped his car and got out of it. As he and his son approached the injured man, another man was attending to him.
He returned to his car to get his phone in order to ring emergency services, but at that point made, what he later described as “an irresponsible decision”.
He got back in his car and continued his journey to the airport, where he caught the flight and travelled to Germany for a family holiday.
Three days later, he rang Gardai and explained that he had been the driver involved.
He became distraught to learn that Mr Casey had suffered badly, with numerous fractures, including to his ribs and his pelvis. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Sgt Jim Kelly gave evidence that Mr Hayden was extremely helpful to their investigation. Gardai were able to get the car from Dublin Airport and examine it.
Sgt Kelly revealed that there was CCTV from the night showing Mr Hayden driving through the town, with his son driving another car behind him. They were driving at normal speeds.
CCTV also picked up Mr Casey standing in the centre of the road at the Crossings, although there is no footage of the actual collision.
The court heard that a civil case has been initiated.
Mr Hayden was charged with failing to keep his vehicle at the scene, failing to report the matter to Gardai and failing to offer support to the injured man.
Mr Hayden’s barrister told the court that the defendant has a successful franchise business, employing many people, including members of his own family.
He is also heavily involved in a number of charitable endeavours.
Judge Michael O’Shea accepted that the defendant had acted out of panic when he decided to drive on.
He also accepted that he may not have known how badly injured Mr Casey was.
He said it was an extraordinary case and believed that the defendant was genuinely remorseful and that he had been very cooperative with Gardai.
He felt it was an appropriate remedy that the €10,ooo Mr Hayden had offered to Mr Casey as a gesture of remorse, without prejudice to the civil proceedings, be handed over.
He also disqualfied the defendant for four years.