Category: Cookstown

Referency Library – Northern Ireland – County Tyrone – Cookstown

HGV drivers warned not to 'chance their arm'

Published: 11:41 Thursday 30 August 2018

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Cookstown PSNI are warning HGV drivers not to be “chancing their arm” by driving across weak bridges in the area.
They have issued tickets to a number of drivers over the past week.

On …

Sean McElwee death: Driver jailed for killing Co Tyrone GAA groundsman in crash

A LORRY driver whose vehicle was on the wrong side of the road when it hit a van and killed a Co Tyrone GAA club groundsman has been jailed for nine months.

Albertas Daskevicius (51), who a judge said had made “a terrible misjudgment with tragic consequences”, was also banned from driving for 10 years.

The Lithuanian national, with an address at Bawn Court in Ballykelly, caused the collision by pulling out to pass a lorry that was turning left on the A5 between Omagh and Strabane.

Sean McElwee, (43) from Cookstown, died from severe injuries after his van was struck by Daskevicius’s lorry on April 11 2015.

Mr McElwee was a respected member of Fr Rock’s GAA club and lived beside Paddy Cullen Park with his father Francie, a well-known former referee.

At Dungannon Crown Court on Friday Judge Neil Rafferty spoke to Daskevicius through an interpreter. The judge accepted that Daskevicius was “deeply remorseful” and said his actions fell just short of dangerous driving.

He was driving his uninsured box lorry on Melmont Road between Strabane and Sion Mills when a 40ft articulated lorry he was travelling behind slowed down.

Instead of slowing his own vehicle, he pulled out into the path of the Citroen Berlingo van Mr McElwee was driving. Mr McElwee’s father was in the front passenger seat.

Terrence Mooney QC, prosecuting, said this had left “an unfortunate Mr McElwee… absolutely no chance”.

He said the “sole cause” of the accident was Daskevicius’s decision to move onto the wrong side of the road.

Mr Mooney revealed that Mr McElwee’s father later told police that on seeing Daskevicius’s lorry bearing down on them, he shouted to his son: “Where is that eejit going?”

Mr McElwee snr said the lorry had “just come straight towards us” and that his son tried “to swerve left, but there was nowhere for him to go”.

Daskevicius, who admitted his guilt from the outset, told police that after the lorry in front of him braked and indicated left, “he saw a big gap to overtake”.

Daskevicius said he saw the headlights of oncoming traffic but then “saw nothing more”, before adding: “I trusted myself to overtake and that’s what happened.”

John McManus, defending, told the court that it was accepted that Daskevicius had “made an error in judgment”.

“It was one single act which had such tragic consequences,” Mr McManus said.

Before sentencing, the judge said he had been moved by the victim impact reports, which described Mr McElwee as “a loving family man and a loving son”.

Sean McElwee death: Driver jailed for killing Co Tyrone GAA …

A LORRY driver whose vehicle was on the wrong side of the road when it hit a van and killed a Co Tyrone GAA club groundsman has been jailed for nine months.

Albertas Daskevicius (51), who a judge said had made “a terrible misjudgment with tragic consequences”, was also banned from driving for 10 years.

The Lithuanian national, with an address at Bawn Court in Ballykelly, caused the collision by pulling out to pass a lorry that was turning left on the A5 between Omagh and Strabane.

Sean McElwee, (43) from Cookstown, died from severe injuries after his van was struck by Daskevicius’s lorry on April 11 2015.

Mr McElwee was a respected member of Fr Rock’s GAA club and lived beside Paddy Cullen Park with his father Francie, a well-known former referee.

At Dungannon Crown Court on Friday Judge Neil Rafferty spoke to Daskevicius through an interpreter. The judge accepted that Daskevicius was “deeply remorseful” and said his actions fell just short of dangerous driving.

He was driving his uninsured box lorry on Melmont Road between Strabane and Sion Mills when a 40ft articulated lorry he was travelling behind slowed down.

Instead of slowing his own vehicle, he pulled out into the path of the Citroen Berlingo van Mr McElwee was driving. Mr McElwee’s father was in the front passenger seat.

Terrence Mooney QC, prosecuting, said this had left “an unfortunate Mr McElwee… absolutely no chance”.

He said the “sole cause” of the accident was Daskevicius’s decision to move onto the wrong side of the road.

Mr Mooney revealed that Mr McElwee’s father later told police that on seeing Daskevicius’s lorry bearing down on them, he shouted to his son: “Where is that eejit going?”

Mr McElwee snr said the lorry had “just come straight towards us” and that his son tried “to swerve left, but there was nowhere for him to go”.

Daskevicius, who admitted his guilt from the outset, told police that after the lorry in front of him braked and indicated left, “he saw a big gap to overtake”.

Daskevicius said he saw the headlights of oncoming traffic but then “saw nothing more”, before adding: “I trusted myself to overtake and that’s what happened.”

John McManus, defending, told the court that it was accepted that Daskevicius had “made an error in judgment”.

“It was one single act which had such tragic consequences,” Mr McManus said.

Before sentencing, the judge said he had been moved by the victim impact reports, which described Mr McElwee as “a loving family man and a loving son”.

Lorry driver jailed for killing GAA man Sean McElwee

A 51-year-old Lithuanian lorry driver who caused the death of Co Tyrone man Sean McElwee in a head-on crash two years ago has been jailed for nine months.

Albertas Daskevicius, with an address in Bawn Court, Ballykelly, admitted his careless driving caused the death of 42-year-old Mr McElwee, a well-known grounds man at the Fr Rocks GAA club in Cookstown, on April 11, 2015.

He was driving his uninsured box lorry on the Melmont Road between Strabane and Sion Mills, when a 40-foot articulated lorry he was travelling behind, slowed down to turn left.

Instead of slowing, he pulled out into the path of Mr McElwee driving his Citroen Berlingo van, with his father in the front passenger seat.

At Dungannon Crown Court today, prosecuting QC Terrence Mooney said Mr McElwee had “absolutely no chance”.

However, he said while it was accepted it was careless driving, nevertheless the “sole cause” of the accident was the Lithuanian’s decision to overtake and to move onto the wrong side of the road, which “created a clear and obvious danger to oncoming traffic”.

Judge Neil Rafferty told Daskevicius through an interpreter, while he accepted he was “deeply remorseful” his momentary bad decision, although careless, was equally a bad case of driving which just fell short of dangerous. Mr Mooney revealed that Mr McElwee’s father later told police that on seeing Daskevicius’ lorry bearing down on them, he shouted to his son: “Where’s that eejit going”.

Mr McElwee snr added that the lorry “just come straight towards us” and his son had tried “to swerve left, but there was nowhere for him to go”.

From the outset Daskevicius admitted his guilt, said Mr Mooney, for the tragic accident which had such devastating consequences.

Defence lawyer John McManus said it was accepted that Daskevicius had “a single error in judgement”, and that “once he made that error there was nothing he could do to avoid that collision”.

“It was one single act which had such tragic consequences,” added Mr McManus, who said it was also accepted there were no aggravating features.

The lawyer said it was “quite clear that Mr Daskevicius is extremely remorseful for the devastation he has caused to this family” and that the guilt will continue to weigh heavily on him.

Judge Rafferty in his sentencing remarks acknowledged the hurt and devastation suffered by the family of Mr McElwee. He said the courts had always recognised and were aware that any sentence imposed may seem painfully inadequate compared to the loss of any family.

Daskevicius will serve nine months in custody, followed by nine months on licence. He was also banned from driving for 10 years.

Lorry driver sentenced to 18 months for causing death of Cookstown man

A 51-year-old Lithuanian lorry driver who caused the death of Cookstown man Sean McElwee in a head-on crash two years ago has been handed an 18-month sentence, and banned from driving for 10 years.

Dungannon Crown Court Judge Neil Rafferty told Albertas Daskevicius through an interpreter, while he accepted he was “deeply remorseful” his momentary bad decision, although careless, was equally a bad case of driving which just fell short of dangerous driving.

Daskevicius, with an address in Bawn Court, Ballykelly, admitted his careless driving caused the death of 42-year-old Mr McElwee, a well-known grounds man at the Fr Rocks GAA club in Cookstown, on 11 April 2015.

He was driving his uninsured box lorry on the Melmont Road between Strabane and Sion Mills, when a 40-foot articulated lorry he was travelling behind, slowed down to turn left.

Instead of slowing, he pulled out into the path of Mr McElwee driving his Citreon Berlingo van, with his father in the front passenger seat.

Prosecuting QC Terrence Mooney said this had left “an unfortunate Mr McElwee…absolutely no chance”.

However, he said while it was accepted it was careless driving, nevertheless the “sole cause” of the tragic accident was the Lithuanian’s critical decision to overtake and to move onto the wrong side of the road, which “created a clear and obvious danger to oncoming traffic”.

Mr Mooney revealed that Mr McElwee’s father later told police that on seeing Daskevicius’ lorry bearing down on them, he shouted to his son: “Where’s that eejit going”.

Mr McElwee snr added that the lorry “just come straight towards us” and that his son tried “to swerve left, but there was nowhere for him to go”.

From the outset Daskevicius admitted his guilt, said Mr Mooney, for the tragic accident which had such devastating consequences.

The court heard a weeping Daskevicius told police after the lorry in front of him braked and indicated left, “he saw a big gap to overtake”.

The Lithuanian said he saw the head lights of oncoming traffic, but then “saw nothing more”, before adding: “I trusted myself to overtake, and that’s what happened… I think it was my fault”.

Defence lawyer John McManus told the court that it was accepted that Daskevicius had “made an error in judgement, a single error in judgement”, and that “once he made that error there was nothing he could do to avoid that collision”.

“It was one single act which had such tragic consequences,” added Mr McManus, who said it was also accepted there were no aggravating feature in the case.

The lawyer said it was “quite clear that Mr Daskevicius is extremely remorseful for the devastation he has caused to this family” and that the guilt that flows from that will continue to weigh heavily with him.

Judge Rafferty in his sentencing remarks acknowledge the hurt and devastation suffered by the family of Mr McElwee.

He said the courts had always recognised and aware that any sentence imposed may seem painfully inadequate as compared to the loss of any family.

The judge said he had been moved by the comments contained in the victim impact reports, which spoke of Mr McElwee as “a loving family man and a loving son”.

Daskevicius will serve nine months in custody, followed by nine months on supervised licensed parole.

Another two for two night For Alderson at Full Throttle

After another long drive home from northern Ontario where he fights forest fires Billy Alderson Jr. from Mount Forest lit up the scoreboard at Full Throttle Friday night with another two impressive wins. Alderson s #18 was on fire and imposable to catch once he got out front although in the second feature of the night he did need a little luck with a late race caution. Second in feature one would go to #35 Mike Thebeau from Mitchell, third #01 Travis Farrow from Holstein, fourth #6 Rob Wark from Chesley and fifth #1 Bob Parsons from Princeton. In feature two it looked like #01 Travis Farrow could break the streak of Alderson but with a caution out for a spin in corner 4 with the leaders coming out of two everyone had time to slow down but as the leader went to pass the car that had spun the driver decided to back down the track into the path of the leader Farrow causing damage to the front of his car. On the ensuing restart with the 18 of Alderson starting outside he was able to get away and seal his second checker of the night. Second would go to #01 Travis Farrow, third #20 Ryan Edwards-Kiss from Londesboro, fourth #35 Mike Thebeau and rounding out the top five #7 Tim Tolton from Guelph driving for Paul Huskins. In Mini Truck action it was a field of rookies and a couple veterans taking to the highbanks this week as some new drivers tested themselves against not only being in a mini truck for the first time ever but the highbanks of Full Throttle Motor Speedway. In feature one it would be Kendra Cassidy from Cambridge driving the #67 truck that would take the checker flag in front of her grandfather Doug Collins from Cambridge who was wheeling the #1 truck for his first start in thirty five years. Third would go to #88 Steve Greguol from Waterloo in his first time ever even sitting in a mini truck with #7 Aimee Cassidy from Cambridge in fourth. In feature two the checker would fly for #29 Kevin McMillen from Palmerston in front of the #67 of Kendra Cassidy, third was #28 Miranda Gill from Waterloo in her first attempt at mini truck racing. Fourth would go to #88 Steve Greguol and rounding out the top five #7 Aimee Cassidy. The story this past week in the Mini Stock division was one of hard luck and close finishes. In feature one it would be the #36 Corry Young from Owen Sound getting out in front early with the #35 Bobby Tolton from Rockwood hot on his heels and closing in then on the white flag lap the right front suspension on Tolton s car would give way forcing him to the infield and handing second place to #63 Brandon Crumbie from Cookstown. Third was #7 Paul Boyd from Harriston, fourth #14 Brian Wilson from Rockwood and fifth #64 Dave Crumbie from Beeton. In feature two this time it would be #63 Brandon Crumbie getting out front with #36 Corry Young doing the chasing to the finish but the best battle of the night was behind the two leaders. It would take a few minutes after they crossed the line but it would be determined that it was #14 Brian Wilson coming in third with his good friend #7 Paul Boyd right there with him. Fifth in this race would go to #64 Dave Crumbie. Fun Stock action also saw some good fast racing and some good old hard passing for win this night. In feature one it would be Nick Clarke from Clifford back behind the wheel of his #0 car and taking advantage of a starting position close to the front to get the jump on the field early on and staying there till the checker. Second in this one would go to #34 Alex Hastie from Durham, third #85 Matt Clarke from Mount Forest, fourth #25 Billy Lovell from Mildmay and in fifth #94 Tim Van Oastveen from Palmerston. In feature two it looked like #85 Matt Clarke was going to cruise to another victory but as he worked his way through lapped traffic that allowed the speedy #34 of Alex Hastie to catch up and make a race out of it. Following lap after lap on Clarke s back bumper Hastie would make a bold move going into corner 3 and 4 driving in hard on the inside of Clarke and taking the lead coming out of four to the white flag. As they raced on the white flag lap Matt Clarke wasn t going to give up easy and as they came out of corner two was able to give the back bumper of Hastie s #34 enough of a tap to get him loose allowing #85 Clarke to regain the lead and hold it till the finish line with Hastie in second. Third in this race would go to #32 Ben Klages from Hanover, fourth #84 Andrea Parsons from Clifford and fifth #0 Nick Clarke. The Crazy Train division also had a two feature winner this past week with The Dragon Express picking up both wins something not done by a team in a while with eight sets of trains starting the night. In feature one they would be followed by Confused Till We Die from Cambridge, Here We Go from Listowel and Texas Traincar Massacre from Mount Forest. In feature two second would go to Crazy Till We Die from Cambridge, third Confused Till We Die, and in fourth Texas Traincar Massacre. At the end of the night fans were treated to the first Crazy 8 s race with the infield now cleaned out it has opened things up to allow for true figure eight racing. In the first race of the season it would be Nick Clarke from Clifford running his 4 cylinder Fun Stock and staying out in front of all the eight cylinder cars and trucks to bring home the checker even with a flat left front tire. Next racing action at Full Throttle is this coming weekend as the season wraps up and champions are crowned with three days of racing and a lot more laps starting Friday night at 7:30 Fun Stocks, Mini Stocks, Super Trucks and Street Stocks. Then it s the last Super Saturday of the season with all traveling series, grandstands open at 3PM with racing at 5 for OSCCAR Midgets, Can AM Midgets, Canadian Vintage Modifieds, OSCCAR Modifieds for the second and final 50 lap race to decide the 2015 winner of the Rick Woolner Memorial and it all wraps up with the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup season ending 100 lap race. Then on Sunday starting at 2PM it will be Jr Late Models, Mini Trucks, Outlaw Late Models, Crazy Trains and TWIN Crazy 8 s as drivers test their nerves on the figure eight track. For complete details check out the website www.fullthrottlemotorspeedway.com [1] . References ^ www.fullthrottlemotorspeedway.com (www.fullthrottlemotorspeedway.com)