Valentia man found not guilty of careless driving death

A Valentia man has been found not guilty of careless driving causing death.

84-year-old Patrick Daly of Killbeg, Valentia had denied the charge, following a road traffic collision on the Knightstown to Chapeltown Road on the island, which occurred on the 24th November 2016.

66-year-old Maureen Orpen was walking along the narrow country road, when she was struck from behind by a Citroen Berlingo van.

Forensic Collision Investigator Garda James O’Brien examined the scene; he says the single-lane carriageway varied between 3.2-3.5 meters 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 growth on hedges.

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

The jury of seven men and five women took an hour and a half to return a not guilty verdict.

Judge Eoin Garavan expressed his condolences to the Orpen family, saying that the victim’s passing was a tragedy.

He also thanked the jury for their service and excused them from duty for a period of five years.