Biker McGurk fined over crash in which cousin died
A motorcyclist riding alongside his cousin three years ago was killed when he collided with a tractor and trailer after speeding over the brow of a hill, a court has heard.
Declan McGurk, a 28-year-old father-of-three from Roemill Walk, Limavady, died in the crash on Baranailt Road between Limavady and Claudy on Easter Saturday, April 19, 2014.
Details of the tragedy were revealed at Limavady Magistrates Court as Mr McGurk's cousin Aidan Joseph McGurk (31), of Castle Gardens, Limavady, was convicted of driving without due care and attention during the incident. He had denied a charge of dangerous driving.
District Judge Liam McNally said as the defendant and his cousin came over the brow of a hill on their motorbikes they were "confronted" by a tractor with a trailer behind it.
He said the deceased had overtaken the defendant and collided with the trailer, causing the motorbike to burst into flames, and "unfortunately he lost his life".
The judge said some witnesses said the motorbikes were travelling at "excessive speed" and he added there was no doubt the bike driven by the deceased was travelling faster than the defendant's, as he had overtaken him.
Judge McNally said that an expert estimated the speed could have been at least 80mph, although the defendant said he was doing 60-65mph.
In finding Aidan McGurk guilty of careless driving, the judge said: "He went over the brow of the hill not knowing what was over the other side."
Defence barrister Dean Mooney said McGurk lost his cousin "and that is something he has had to relive over and over".
Added the barrister: "The consequences of that day will live with him for a long time."
Imposing nine penalty points and fining the defendant £500 for careless driving, Judge McNally said that, three years on, it would be wrong to disqualify him from driving.