« BackJudge has begun his charge of jury at trial of man accused of careless driving causing death of 60-year-old woman

A jury at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court will begin its deliberations tomorrow at the trial of a man accused of careless driving causing the death of a 60-year-old woman over two years ago.

Tralee courthouseGeraldine Murphy, who was originally from Brosna, was killed following an accident at Manor West in Tralee on November 18th, 2014.

31-year-old Shane Hannafin of 15 Kerins Park, Tralee denies careless driving causing her death.

Geraldine Murphy was dressed in black and wearing a brown fur coat when she was struck by Shane Hannafin’s Volkswagen Passat as he was exiting the carpark near Debenham’s at around 6.30pm on November 18th, 2014.

The retired teacher from Presentation Primary, who lived in Ashleigh Downs, was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a prepared statement given to gardai read out in court, the sales manager with Harvey Norman said he had not seen the deceased woman. He said he felt his car drive over some obstruction like driving over a kerb.

He couldn’t open the door and when he exited the car on the passenger side, he saw a woman lying on the ground in a pool of blood with her legs underneath the car.

He put his jacket over her and dialled 999.

Garda James O’Brien, a forensic collision investigator, said the accused was in a traumatised state when he reached the car park.

He said the Passat was travelling very slowly and there was no obvious signs of impact.

Prosecuting counsel Tom Rice said CCTV evidence contradicted the accused’s statement that he had stopped his car or yielded right of way.

Defending, Brian McInerney said there had been three significant changes in the car park since, including the installation of 12 pedestrian crossings, improved lighting and the re-painting of road markings.

He said the deceased woman’s death was the result of a tragic accident that happened in a split second, the consequences of which Mr Hannafin would have to live with for the rest of his life.

Judge John Hannan has begun his charge of the jury.