Belfast Telegraph

Man avoids prison for causing road death of vintage tractor driver Victor Wylie

Accident: Robert Wylie
Accident: Robert Wylie

By Staff Reporter

A Cookstown man who admitted causing the death of a popular vintage vehicle enthusiast has been given community service and a lengthy driving disqualification.

Victor Wylie was driving a tractor and trailer along the Moneymore dual carriageway around 9.30am on July 17, 2015 on the way to a vintage rally when he was struck from behind.

The impact caused the tractor to overturn and Mr Wylie died at the scene.

Appearing in the dock of Dungannon Crown Court was Ivan Davison (61) of Dunmore Park, who was scheduled to go on trial last month accused of causing death by dangerous driving.

This charge was denied, but Davison pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.

Prosecution counsel explained that Mr Wylie’s tractor was travelling at around 13mph when Davison approached from behind at a much greater speed, although not in excess of the road limit.

The lawyer also pointed out that the victim’s family, while recognising the guilty plea, had difficulty over the fact that it did not come sooner.

Mr Wylie, who was 65, had a daughter and four grandchildren.

He had been travelling in a convoy with three others to a vintage vehicle rally when his trailer was struck from behind by a Honda 4x4 driven by Davison.

Defence counsel told the court this was a tragedy, “not least as both men were neighbours in a rural community and shared an affection for vintage tractors”.

Judge Rafferty said it occurred to him the third anniversary of the tragedy was approaching, making this even more difficult for Mr Wylie’s family.

Addressing his daughter, who was seated in the public gallery, the judge said: “Your father was a good man. His heart would burst with pride at the daughter he produced.”

Turning to Davison he said this was “a tragic and needless accident” and said he was convinced that his remorse and shame were genuine.

Judge Rafferty said it would be disproportionate to imprison Davison, and instead imposed a 240-hour community service order, with a driving disqualification of three years.

He concluded: “People must understand these tragedies happen to good people.

“The lesson from this terrible incident is we should all stop, think and take a little more care so these needless accidents with such terrible, tragic consequences are reduced.”

Belfast Telegraph