Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Fatal car crash motorist ignored plea not to pass lorry, court told

A driver ignored a passenger’s plea not to overtake a lorry and ended up smashing into the car of a young woman, killing her instantly, his trial has heard.

Omagh Crown Court also heard that later 57-year-old Edward Cassidy attempted to get the passenger to change his story surrounding the accident which claimed the life of 24-year-old Donna Marie Ferguson three years ago.

Mr Cassidy, from Mullaghmore Drive, Omagh, denies causing her death by his driving dangerously on the Boa Island Road at Kesh on December 5, 2006. He also denies causing grievous bodily injury to two of his passengers, Kevin Myers and Frankisek Takacz.

Mr Cassidy and another passenger, 22-year-old Kevin Barry McDermott, of Deverney Road, Arvalee, Omagh, also deny attempting to pervert the course of justice by trying to get Mr Myers to alter his statement to police.

Prosecuting QC Ken McMahon said Mr Cassidy was driving a minibus to work in Sligo and as he travelled between Kesh and Belleek he came up behind a 40ft articulated lorry. Mr Cassidy pulled out to overtake the lorry as it was approaching a left-hand bend despite a warning from Mr Myers, the front seat passenger. He said that Mr Myers saw the approaching lights of Ms Ferguson's Peugeot 206 car and told Mr Cassidy to get into his own side of the road quickly which he did, by pulling sharply to the left to get in front of the lorry.

Mr McMahon said Ms Ferguson “was confronted with two vehicles, one on the wrong side of the road and in that situation she steered hard to the right towards the grass verge and the collision took place on that side of the road”.

Mr McMahon claimed Mr Cassidy was saying that he had pulled in front of the lorry in time and for some reason Ms Ferguson drove across the road into his path.

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