Clonard driver convicted of causing crash that killed his girlfriend

Friday, 12th July, 2019 4:19pm

Clonard driver convicted of causing crash that killed his girlfriend

Richard McCullen

A driver convicted of causing the crash that killed his girlfriend near Enfield three years ago broke down in tears when the jury returned its guilty verdict at Trim Circuit Court today.

Kenneth Darby (29) with an address at Ashfield, Clonard, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of dangerous driving causing the death of Jenna-eve Smyth (25) Riverstown, Killucan, on 18th June 2016 on the Kinnegad - Enfield road, at Kilmurray, Enfield.
Trim Circuit Court heard the defendant's car, a silver 04 VW Bora had rounded a gentle sweeping bend and had been on the wrong side of the road when it crashed sideways into the front of an oncoming black 05 Megane.

The victim Jenna-eve Smyth had been the front seat passenger in the defendant's car. Emer France Alhadri who was driving the Megane towards Maynooth on the old Dublin Galway road told prosecuting counsel Carl Hanahoe BL the crash occurred at 8.55pm approx.

Paramedics who attended the scene told the court the defendant had been able to talk when taken from his car but the victim had been unresponsive.

 In a later statement to gardai, Darby said he had collected Ms Smyth from her work in Mullingar earlier that evening and dropped her home to Killucan to get ready for a charity night out in Enfield.

 He said he returned home and was to collect her later. He said he did not remember picking her up at her home and only remembered waking up in hospital.

 He said he could not understand why he had been going in the Kinnegad direction at the time of the crash as he should have been driving in the Enfield direction.

 Gardai who examined the scene and the two cars involved told the court the road where the crash occurred had been wet and greasy on the night following recent rain and neither car had been mechanically defective.

 The court heard that neither occupant in the defendant's car had been wearing seat belts.

 Garda Thomas Brennan, the forensic collision investigator, said he concluded the crash was due to driver error.

After the jury of seven men and five women returned the 'guilty' verdict Judge Martina Baxter invited the victim's father Des Smyth to address the court.

Defence counsel Damien Colgan SC told the court that his client was now in a new relationship and his partner was expecting a baby in the coming weeks and requested time to enable him to get his affairs in order.

 Judge Baxter remanded Darby on bail for sentence on 31st October.

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