Court hears victim may have been hidden in a shadow prior to Valentia road traffic accident

Tralee Circuit Court has heard the victim in a road traffic incident may have been covered in a shadow immediately prior to the accident.

84-year-old Patrick Daly of Killbeg, Valentia has pleaded not guilty to careless driving causing death, following a road traffic collision on the Knightstown to Chapeltown Road on the island, which occurred on the 24th November 2016.

The prosecution alleges that 66-year-old Maureen Orpen was walking along the narrow country road, when she was struck from behind by the accused’s Citroen Berlingo van.

A medical report read to Tralee Circuit Court says she died 12 days later due to a severe traumatic brain injury, consistent with a road traffic collision; further complications due to a prolonged hospital stay were noted as secondary factors.

Forensic Collision Investigator Garda James O’Brien examined the scene; he says the single-lane carriageway varied between 3.2-3.5 metres in width, with considerable growth on roadside hedges.

He visited the location 24 hours after the incident to assess if the sun’s location could have been a factor; Garda O’Brien believes the sun was bright and debilitating at the time and was casting a shadow over the victim due to excessive hedges growth.

He also told the court the victim was wearing dark clothes at the time.

Garda O’Brien noted the vehicle was in good mechanical order prior to the collision and travelling well below the 80kmh speed limit.

Prosecutor Tom Rice claims there was fault in Mr Daly’s driving, which led to the death of Mrs Orpen.

The jury of seven men and five women will begin their deliberations today under Judge Eoin Garavan.