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Northern Ireland motorist in US horror crash which injured five people was 'twice legal limit'


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CHARGES: Shane Brolly

CHARGES: Shane Brolly

CHARGES: Shane Brolly

A driving "menace" accused of causing a high-speed horror smash in Pennsylvania was twice the drink drive limit at the time, prosecutors have said.

Dungiven man Shane Brolly (24) is facing further charges in the United States following the results of blood tests by the team investigating the crash in which five people were seriously injured.

Brolly was arrested at the scene of a head-on crash after a local hero pulled four screaming teenage girls from their burning Mazda.

Police found opened beer cans "strewn" across the interior of Brolly's GMC pick-up truck and say he admitted he had been drinking.

Brolly and his passenger Eoin 'Spud' Quinn, from Dungannon, were rushed to hospital along with the four high school students after the crash in late March.

After initially being arraigned at his hospital bed on a series of driving charges shortly after the incident, Brolly was further charged on Thursday with drink driving and traffic offences following blood alcohol testing conducted by investigators.

In a statement the Bucks County District Attorney's office said Brolly is "facing additional charges after test results showed his blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit to drive."

"Blood test results showed Brolly's blood-alcohol content was 0.21 per cent. Brolly was originally arraigned on five counts each of aggravated assault and aggravated assault by vehicle, all felonies, and eight misdemeanour counts of recklessly endangering another person.

"In an amended complaint, he will now face all those charges, along with five counts of aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI (driving under the influence), DUI-general impairment, DUI-highest rate of alcohol and three summary traffic violations: Driving at unsafe speeds, careless driving, and disregarding traffic lanes."

Brolly is currently detained at Bucks County Correctional Facility.

US police say he had been living in Philadelphia, PA, on an expired work visa and was not licensed to drive in the state.

Earlier this month Sunday Life revealed Brolly had fled Northern Ireland while awaiting sentencing for another drink driving offence, this time a boozed-up 114mph police chase from near Coleraine towards Dungiven in June 2019.

Joiner Brolly pleaded guilty at Coleraine Magistrates Court in September 2019 to offences including dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol.

He was only snared by cops after they were forced to deploy a stinger device following a 16-mile blue-lamp chase along dark country roads.

District Judge Peter King imposed an interim driving ban as he adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report before telling Brolly: "You are clearly a menace to road users."

Brolly failed to attend the sentencing hearing in October 2019 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Following Sunday Life coverage of Brolly's actions, this newspaper was contacted by the Bucks County DA's office requesting public documentation on his Coleraine case.

According to prosecutors in Pennsylvania he was driving his pick-up on the Bridgetown Pike in Northampton Township on Saturday, March 27, when it crossed into oncoming traffic while attempting to overtake.

His truck smashed into a Mazda CX5 carrying four teenage girls, all of whom sustained serious injuries with one girl being airlifted to hospital for emergency treatment. Bucks County district attorney Matt Weintraub slammed Brolly's driving at the time and said he was in the US on an expired work visa.

He said: "He was completely reckless the way he was driving that night, he has a UK driver's licence so he is not properly licensed in the state of Pennsylvania. He shouldn't have been driving at all.

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Eoin Quinn

Eoin Quinn

Eoin Quinn

Tributes were paid on Facebook to Brolly's passenger, Eoin Quinn, with former GAA team-mates and family friends wishing him a speedy recovery.


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