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Dispute over runaway car which left singer Malachi Cush badly injured

Hurt: Malachi Cush

A dispute has arisen over the operation of a runaway car which mowed down singer Malachi Cush and businessman Andrew Trotter in Dungannon last year.

Both victims sustained serious injuries.

Tommy McCrystal (84), from Ard Gannon in the Co Tyrone town, is accused of leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position.

It is alleged that on June 3, 2019, he was in charge of a Volvo at Little Scotch Street, which he left to remain at rest on a road in a manner likely to cause any obstruction or danger.

At Dungannon Magistrates Court on Monday a defence barrister said an engineer's report may be required and, while McCrystal accepts parking his car in a lay-by, there is dispute around whether or not the handbrake was on.

The car in question is fitted with a device which applies the handbrake automatically once the central locking is engaged.

The defence explained there is some doubt whether the autobrake applies when the vehicle is in 'park' rather than 'neutral' - the position confirmed by police at the time of the collision.

It was suggested by the defence a possible "third way" to deal with the matter, which may involve the court studying the vehicle's operational manual.

He added: "The issue is whether the car has to be in 'park' for the autobrake to apply."

District Judge Michael Ranaghan adjourned the case for mention later this month.

It was contended a car "careered" down Scotch Street in Dungannon, mounted the pavement and struck both men.

Mr Cush had been buying gardening equipment in SA Trotter's hardware store shortly after 10.30am when the incident occurred.

Mr Trotter was assisting Mr Cush to load equipment into the rear of his car when they were struck.

Both men sustained head trauma. Mr Cush's legs were severely injured and Mr Trotter also suffered an injured arm.

Belfast Telegraph