Belfast Telegraph

Armagh man arrested over fatal car crash linked to hit-and-run in 2010

By Robin Schiller, Ken Foy and Elaine Keogh

The driver from Northern Ireland suspected of injuring a garda and killing an innocent man in Co Monaghan was "wanted" in relation to another hit-and-run.

Gardai are investigating after a father-of-two Stephen Marron (47) was killed when an out-of-control Audi A6 crashed into his stationary vehicle as he was parked on Main Street in Castleblayney at 11.23pm on Tuesday.

In a bizarre twist it emerged that the man arrested in relation to the incident was suspected of being involved in another car crash with the same garda in 2010.

A 34-year-old man from Co Armagh was last night being questioned in relation to the horror smash which killed Co Monaghan man Mr Marron and left Garda Michael Devlin (31) hospitalised with serious injuries.

A bench warrant has been in place for the arrest of the Armagh man since January 2011, when he failed to show up at a district court in Co Monaghan in relation to a terrifying incident that happened on November 20, 2010.

In the course of the 2010 hit-and-run, Garda Devlin was injured when a car collided with his patrol car at Loclorcan, Co Monaghan, in an alleged dangerous driving incident.

The driver of that car then left the scene but was arrested nearby on suspicion of drink-driving and driving without insurance.

The suspect was charged with these offences and failed to appear in court on a second hearing.

Then on Tuesday night - eight years and one week after that incident - the suspect arrived in Castleblayney Garda station on an unrelated issue.

He was recognised by Garda Devlin, who is not stationed there but based at Monaghan Garda Station.

The suspect then left the station and the garda followed him.

When he tried to leave, Garda Devlin attempted to stop the car but was dragged from the garda station to the Main Street around 500m away.

One source said Garda Michael Devlin was "hanging on for dear life" as the car drove off.

Highly respected officer Garda Devlin had only been in Castleblayney Station because he had earlier been involved in a separate drink-driving arrest in the locality.

"He would not normally be there but when he was of course he recognised the suspect when this individual arrived in the station," a source said.

"It was the same man who was charged with reckless driving over eight years ago."

Video footage shows the Audi car driving onto the Main Street at 11.21pm on Tuesday night. As the car turns onto the street, the driver side door swings open, but closes before the car starts veering towards the blue Skoda Octavia.

The Audi appears to pick up speed right before impact with Stephen Marron's car, smashing into the rear of his vehicle.

Mr Marron's Skoda crashes into a pole and is turned 90 degrees while the Audi continues for several more metres before coming to a stop.

As two garda cars respond to the scene, the 34-year-old driver steps out of the car and puts his hand into his pocket, before raising his arms.

Garda Devlin can then be seen staggering out of the passenger side of the car, and collapses before being helped by a passer-by.

Main Street remained sealed-off yesterday to facilitate garda forensic and Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission examinations.

Belfast Telegraph

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