A MAN on a mobility scooter was injured in a hit-and-run incident at a zebra crossing in Ballymena town centre, a court heard.
The incident happened at Parkway on July 11 this year and at Ballymena Magistrates Court Conor McIlhagga (24), of Collinwood in the town, pleaded guilty to a number of charges.
He admitted driving without due care and attention and failing to stop, remain and report an accident.
The court heard that during a police interview the defendant said he had been “distracted” and a car in the lane beside him on the dual-carriageway at Parkway had started to slow down and he didn’t see why.
The defendant claimed to police the mobility scooter user on the crossing then collided with the side of his vehicle.
McIlhagga said he panicked and drove and was going to go to the police station but was in shock and was “freaking out”.
A defence solicitor said his client had now apologised in person to the mobility scooter user.
The lawyer said the man on the scooter had received a “whiplash” injury.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said the person on the scooter had been “ran down” by McIlhagga and was lucky they were not more badly hurt.
The defence solicitor said McIlhagga had heard a “bang” and pulled in but thinking he had only knocked a basket off the scooter “in a state of blind panic” drove home and after ringing a family member was in the process of leaving his property to go to the police when officers arrived.
The lawyer said photos showed damage to the side of the defendant’s car.
The solicitor said the zebra crossing was a short distance from a roundabout and McIlhagga had assumed the other driver was braking on the approach to the roundabout.
Judge Broderick asked: “What if it had been a small child? It is a serious matter whenever you collide with a mobility scooter on a zebra crossing”.
The defendant was banned from driving for two months and fined £450.