Man who abandoned vehicle on its side on country road in middle of night claimed he left scene to get tractor to ‘right’ car

Ballymena Court

A MAN who crashed into a telegraph pole and left his vehicle lying on its side on a country road in the middle of the night claimed he had gone the short distance to his home to organise getting a tractor to ‘right’ the car.

Nathanial McCloy, (27), a self-employed gardener of Granagh Road near Cullybackey, claimed the car left the Ballyconnelly Road after the wheels hit muck on September 1 this year.

At Ballymena Magistrates Court he admitted charges of driving without due care and attention; leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position; failing to report an accident to police and failing to remain at the scene.

A prosecutor said at 4am on Saturday September 1 this year police saw an abandoned Vectra on its side blocking a lane of traffic at Ballyconnelly Road and officers believed it had struck a telegraph pole which had snapped with part of the pole landing in a garden.

Police spoke to the defendant at around 5.15am.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said it was not the case of a “boy racer” putting his car on its side whilst under the influence of drink or drugs but instead the defendant was around a mile from his home where he was returning to when tyres went onto “heavy mud” at the side of the road.

Mr Law said the defendant had been returning from a friend’s house when the crash happened.

When police spoke to the defendant it was clear he was not under the influence and they didn’t even breathalyse him, the barrister said.

Mr Law said his client had walked home with the intention of getting a tractor to right his vehicle.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said he could take into account the defendant’s clear record and early guilty plea and he read six character references and testimonials handed in to the court and said he was prepared to accept there had been “nothing untoward” surrounding the collision.

He told the defendant if he was involved in an accident in future he should immediately report it to police.

The defendant was given five penalty points and fined £325.

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