Antrim student fined for using mobile crash that sparked 'fireball'
A fireball erupted after a student who had been using his mobile phone whilst driving crashed into the back of a car which had stopped at roadworks in Co Antrim, a court has heard.
Craig Law (21), of Grangegorm Drive, Ballymena, drove into the rear of a Ford Kuga which was shunted into a cattle trailer. It caused two vehicles to catch fire and sparked a "small explosion".
The incident happened around 11.20am on November 30 last year on the Ballybogey Road outside Ballymoney.
Law was not present at Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday as he was sitting an exam at university.
In his absence, he received seven penalty points and was fined £350 after being sentenced for driving without due care and attention and using a mobile phone whilst driving.
A prosecutor said police received a report of two vehicles on fire and a "small explosion" having occurred, and an ambulance crew was present.
The prosecutor said Law had been driving along the road at 60mph and was using his mobile phone.
However, traffic had stopped at roadworks and he drove into the back of a Ford Kuga which was pushed forward into the cattle trailer.
The prosecutor said the passengers in the Kuga had "minor injuries".
Defence solicitor Emma McCann said the incident showed how taking your eye off the road and using a mobile can have "catastrophic consequences".
She said Law had told police straight away he had been using his mobile and was "remorseful".
Ms McCann said her client was normally a very cautious driver and he has now learned "a very salutary lesson".
District Judge Peter King told the court it was a "very dramatic set of circumstances".