Motorist fined £765 following collision

A judge has said he is satisfied beyond doubt that a motorist fell asleep while driving and crashed into an oncoming vehicle.

Forty-one-year-old David Darren Campbell from Meeting House Avenue, Maghera, was fined £765 and banned from driving for 12 months.

Campbell was convicted of causing grievous bodily injury to a man by careless driving at Tobermore Road, Desertmartin, on October 9, 2018.

Defence lawyer Michael Forde told Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday that it appeared the defendant had “blackened out” or fallen asleep while driving home from work around 5.30pm.

Man refused bail.

Mr Forde argued it was unlikely he had fallen asleep as the injured party had sounded his horn as his van approached and this would have woken him up.

In the circumstances, he said a black out of some kind was the most likely explanation and the case should resolve in favour of the defendant and the case dismissed.

Prosecuting counsel countered that no medical evidence had been put before the court with regard to the defendant suffering a black out.

She pointed out an independent witness had seen the defendant’s vehicle veering across the white line before jerking back prior to the collision which suggested he was falling asleep in a “slow and progressive” manner.

Deputy District Judge Noel Dunlop described the incident as very serious.

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