Lochside Garage

Five taken to hospital after teen caused collison


A TEENAGE tractor driver caused a collision on a road close to Dromore resulting in five people being taken to hospital, among them a three-year-old child.
Stephen McCarron (18) of Ferney Road, Tedd, Irvinestown was not a qualified driver when the collision took place while he drove a tractor drawing a trailer with a total length of 37 feet.
At Omagh Magistrates Court he was disqualified for four weeks and fined £75 when he admitted a charge of driving without due care and attention.
In a stern rebuke to McCarron and his parents who were in court, District Judge Bernie Kelly suggested he was “not fit to be on the road” without a qualified driver.
The collision occurred on the Tummery Road when a car crashed into the trailer as McCarron was turning right. A witness at the scene told police the teenager made a “total misjudgement.”
Defence solicitor Tommy Owens said his client, who is a full-time student, was working for his father at the time of the incident. He explained that he attempted the manoeuvre at a “very dangerous” junction which is in the valley of two hills. Mr Owens said the view of the road on one side was 150 yards while it was only 50 to 60 yards on the other side. He added that there was a warning sign for a crossroads and a ‘slow’ sign in the vicinity which indicated it was a dangerous junction.
Mr Owens stated, “He did not see the cars coming over the hill. The impact occurred towards the back wheel of the trailer, six feet from the end so he had gone substantially into the other roadway which indicates he did not pull in front of the vehicle coming down the hill.”
The court was also told that no-one was seriously injured and the defendant’s father’s insurance company dealt with the damage caused.
Judge Kelly said it was “amazing” from the description of the road that the teenager was not listening for oncoming vehicles.
Mr Owens replied, “A tractor is noisy.”
The Judge responded, “Not if your stopped. According to him, he heard nothing until the bang. At no point was he on the look-out. Sometimes people in a tractor are not fit to be on the road. He is very lucky the charge is careless driving. What if the three-year-old had died? It would have been careless driving causing death.”
It also emerged that McCarron was a Learner driver.
Judge Kelly pointed out to the Prosecution that he had not been charged with driving while unsupervised by a qualified driver.
She added, “He hadn’t mastered the basics of listening. It was drive first, listen later. If his parents were responsible they would not allow a non- qualified driver on the road without a qualified driver with him.
“I bet he didn’t have L-plates on to alert other drivers on the road that he couldn’t drive and was on his own.”


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